Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard
Born: 7 June 1862, Pressburg (now Bratislava), Hungary (now Slovakia)
Died: 20 May 1947, Messelhausen, Germany
Affiliation at the time of the award: Kiel University, Kiel, Germany
Prize motivation: "for his work on cathode rays."
Prize share: 1/1
Experiments conducted in the late 19th century on cathode rays (radiation emitted when a voltage is applied between two metal plates in a glass tube filled with low-pressure gas) led to the discovery of electrons and X-rays. In crucial experiments performed by Philipp Lenard beginning in 1893, the glass tube was fitted with a thin aluminum window, making it possible to study the radiation outside the tube and thereby prove that it was not electromagnetic in nature.