Letter: Roentgen Rays Or Streams are material

Wednesday, August 12, 1896
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The New York Herald August IS. 1896 1t0ENTGEN RAYS its MATERIAL Ho Says Nikola Tesla After an ln, voltlgation That 0onlirm| Hi, Long Standing Beliaf. THE MATTER CAN BE FELT, Particles Bombard the Tube and Ae* as inelastic Bodies Similar to Small Lead Bullets. MOVE AT GREAT VELOCITY. The Roentgsn rays-the wonderful X ray|_ as commonly called-which have utonlshsq tho world by brlnglng light out of aut places. even Illuminating the human bm, are nowdeclared to be materlal partlcles ty; no less fn authorlty than Nikola T1-sla_ Mr. Tesla has been lcd to take this vlev for some tlmc from the results of qpm_ ments whlch he has been conductlnz ln hls tlttmratory. an mm by tm |tmt.t|.t» after ,,, lntervluw with hlm. But now he comes fm-_ ward without hcsltatlon and says that the electrlcal conditions wlthln the tube from which the rays issue produce absolute Dar. tlcles. They are mzttcrlal as cannon lvtlls; ln. flnlteslmal and attenuatcd, lt ls trut-, but actual material which bombard tho gtg" and any object which may come ln llna with their motlon. And this motion ls no lnslgnln- cant thing, and would make the most rapid moving cannon ball appear to stand stlll, for Mr. Tesla says hls experiments show them to move at a velocity of not lrss than sixty. two miles a second. inthe measurements hu uses he calls lt "l00 kilometres a second." Mr. Tesla further says he can feel the ef. fects of these particles strlklng against hls eye. and has noted the sensation produced when they come ln contact with hls braln. uit 'rt»:st.,t‘s nt:ct..tn.\1'|oN. Mr. Tesla makes public hls conclusions la relation to the Roentgen rays ln a letter to the Eleotrlcal Review of this week, ln which-after referring to Professor Rocnt~ |'en's theory that the rays were longitudinal waves of ether-he says:- "After‘a lonr and careful lnvrtttlgatlon with apparatus tartx<~uxar|_ rlrsl. ln regard to the longitudinal character of the dlsturbances: second, ln regard to the medium concerned In their propagation, "There ls but little doubt at present that a cathodlc stream wlthln a bull: ls composed nf small particles ol mutter, thrown oft with Brest velocity from the electrode. The veloc- ity probably attained is eatlmable, and tum- accountable for the mechanical and heating effects produced by the impact against lhs wall or obstacle wtthln the bulh. lt le. fur- th.e\:mort~, mt ac:( pled vtuw that the nrolvjrt- ed lumps of matter not as lnelastlc Pwwut-za, similarly to ever so many small lead bullets. it can be easlly shown that the velocity of the stream may tic as much as one hundred kilometres 1 at-cond, or even more, sit/t~rr»:nx»;t> txru rltauutzxrs. "But, now, matter tnovlnt: Wlth such Kreat velocity must surely penetrate ,trt-.tt 'luck- nesscs bf the obstruction ln its pztth, lf the laws of mechanical impact are at ull ap- plicable to a cathutllc stream. I have Press ently so tnttch famlllarlzetl myself with this vlew that, If I had no cxperlmental trtltletwe. ~I would not qucstlon the fact that some matter ts nmlected through the thln wnll of a vacuum tube. The extt from tlte latter ls, however. the more likely to occur. as the lumxs of matter must be shattered lnto still muc smaller particles by the impact. "From my experiments lt afpeara that the lumps or molecules are tntloe shattt>t'»=.l into fragments or constituents so small its to make them lose entirely some t~l\)'sl<-al properties possessed before the Impact. uarrtztt 'rcttssn -ro 1:1-ttatt. "Tha matter composing the catholic stream ls," contlnues Mr. Tesla ln hls letter, "to all evidence, reduced to matter of some grrlmaiy form, heretofore not known. as such \"~lovl- tlca and such vlolent impacts have prohnlmly never been studled or even attained lwtore these extraordinary manifestations were Oh- served, Is lt not possible that the '/ery 1-tha-r vortexes which, according to Lord lv-lvlns ideal theory. compose the lumps. are d:s~ solved, and that ln the Roentgen phenomena we m y witness 1 transformatlan of nrdl- nary matter into ether? It ls ln this sense that. I thlnk. Roentlen's first hypothesis will be confirmed. "The lmportant fact pointed out rarly hy Iloentnn and confirmed by suhnw|nt~nt rr- search-namely. that a body ls me more apoque to the rays the denser lt ls--cannot be exnlalnad as satlsfaetorlly u|t\.l°r nm’ other assumption as that of the rnYs being streams of matter. In vfhlch case such slm- ple rolatlon between opaclty and tlrnsltt' would necessarily exist. This relation ls the more important ln lts bearlnx Ul't0n the ns- turs of the rsys ns lt does not at :ull rxlst ln ttgmgtvtn vtltrattam-, .mt »»m¢|t.t nm... quently not Ee found to so marked a :turn and under all nondttlons with vibrations. pre- sumably slmllar to and allyroxlmatlng ln fr uency the ll|ht vlbratlons. Sin llmast crtlclal lrlt of thn rxlttlenrl of material streams ls afforded hy the lur- matlon of shadows ln space at a distance from the bulb. Such shadows could not be formed under the conditions descrtoed. ex~ cept by streams of matter."