Ivan Puluj as a Ukrainian who First Discovered X-Rays
The name of Ivan Puluj entered into the science sphere in the middle of the 19th century in order to bring the world the idea that the Ukrainian land is rich for talented inventors.
For almost 20 years Puluj explored the invisible X-rays, now well-known as X-rays. His first tube was constructed and officially presented 14 years earlier than X-ray.
The history with the recognition of the great invention of a Ukrainian scientist and his involuntary competition with the great V. Röntgen is quite a contradictory case. The fact is that the famous lamp was invented by Puluj in 1881, but the first article of Puluj concerning the origin of X-rays and their photographic action was submitted to the collection of the "Report of the Vienna Academy of Sciences" only on February 13, 1896.
A month before, the German physicist V. Röntgen (by the way, a good friend of Puluj during their internship in Strasbourg) published his sensational work "On a new type of rays," dated December 28, 1895. The discovery of a German scientist was not only previously registered but considered as being more informative (which is rather controversial) than that one of his Ukrainian opponent.
The invention immediately received the name of its author, and the rays, which have been studied by Ivan Puluj for a long period, have since been called X-ray or Röntgen. Although Puluj explained the nature of the X-rays, he also owns the first shot of a complete human skeleton which is a proof of him being the real creator of the X-rays method.
Researchers of the scientific achievements of Ivan Puluj state that in a month and a half from the first announcement of X-rays and before the appearance of his second article, Puluj presented a second solid work devoted to the study of X-rays, which contains much deeper results about the nature and mechanisms of the occurrence of X-rays.
Using the bulb, Ivan Puluj managed to make a few strikingly clear shots of a 13-year-old boy's broken hand and the hands of his daughter with a hinged palm-pin. The place of the fracture, as well as the hairpin, perfectly looked at the received images. Obviously, the "Puluj’s bulb" released in the distant 1881 was a real prototype of the future X-ray machine. The invention won the silver medal at the International Electrotechnical Exhibition in Paris, and even for some time was produced (then, due to lack of financing, the release was suspended).
The researchers of Puluj’s life and X-ray investigations don’t ignore this fact, which is connected with the discovery of X-rays: working in a laboratory, Puluj was completely isolated from the outside world and kept his research in secrecy and commanded to burn it immediately in case of his death. That was actually done right after Puluj’s death.
Referring to the experiments of Puluj’s predecessors in the field of gas-discharge processes, V. Röntgen has never mentioned Puluj or his tubes, although at that time they were well-known among scientists. The researchers of Ivan Puluj's work are still waiting for new discoveries. But the point is that what we have for now is more than enough to consider Ivan Puluj as the founder of the science of X-rays.