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First X-Ray Tube on Stand, by H.G.J. Moseley?, Manchester/Oxford, c.1913

Inventory Number: 21548
Object Type:
Persons: Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley
Date Created: 1913
Place Created: Oxford England United Kingdom Europe
Accession Number: 1935-8
Brief Description: Glass X-ray tube comprising a large central bulb with three tubes protruding from the main bulb, one of these is covered with red wax. Protruding from the top of the bulb is a short tube topped with a metal cap. The bulb stands on a cork ring base.

This piece of apparatus is attributed to Henry Moseley and was probably constructed and used by Moseley, first at Manchester in 1913 and then at Oxford from November 1913 to the summer of 1914. He studied chemical samples using X-ray spectroscopy and hence determine their atomic number. The results were published in the ‘Philosophical Magazine’ in 1913 and 1914.
This may have been one of the initial X-ray tubes used by Moseley during the early stages of his experiments conducted in Manchester in 1913. Moseley used X-rays to analyse the properties of elements in a new and brilliant way: he generated characteristic X-rays of sample elements and analysed them in the spectrometer.

Moseley initially used an ionisation chamber similar to the detector he used in his experiments conducted with Charles Garlton Darwin at Manchester. However, this recording setup was slow and unreliable and so Moseley switched to photography which required him to rebuild his spectrometer according to a geometry discovered simultaneously by the Braggs and de Broglie. By mid-October 1913, Moseley had completed his X-ray spectroscopy setup in its final form with the photographic plate.

If this is one of the initial X-ray tubes then it may have been used with the ionisation chamber detector rather than the photographic detector as used for the successful experiments conducted from October 1913 onwards and so can be dated to the initial experiments conducted by Moseley in Manchester in mid-1913.

See attached narrative 'Henry 'Harry' Moseley and his experiments' for further details.
Provenance: Used by H.G.J. Moseley at the Electrical Laboratory, Oxford
Collection Group:
Material(s): glass
Copper alloy
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
600 245 360 mm


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