Philipp Lenard


Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1905

Born: 7 June 1862, Pressburg, Hungary (now Bratislava, 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.

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