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Potash regulated X-ray tube, England, 1897-1907

Science Museum, London

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Credit: Potash regulated X-ray tube, England, 1897-1907. Credit: Science Museum, London. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


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An X-ray tube consists of a cathode (negative electrode) and an anode (positive electrode). Electrodes are emitted from the cathode. They flow to the anode plate generating X-rays when in a vacuum. The completeness of the vacuum inside early X-ray tubes affected its output. This could vary during use. Incorporating potash (potassium carbonate) in a side tube attempted to control this. When the vacuum became too high, heating the potash released a little gas, which lowered it. X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in November 1895. maker: Unknown maker Place made: England, United Kingdom


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