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Coolidge Tube

© the artist. Photo credit: The Royal Institution

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This painting is part of a series depicting scientific apparatus on display in the Royal Institution’s museum. The apparatus shown is a Coolidge Tube, which creates X-rays by sending an electrical current through a vacuum. Tubes of this type were used by William and Lawrence Bragg as an X-ray source. Using X-rays the Braggs were able to determine the atomic structure of crystals in 1912. They won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1915 for their discovery and, at age 25, Lawrence Bragg remains the youngest ever Nobel prize winner.

The Royal Institution


  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Measurements

    25 x 45.4 cm

  • Accession number

    EN 31

  • Acquisition method

    gift from Dr Mary Joyce Pickersgill, 2010


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Normally on display at

The Royal Institution

21 Albermarle Street, London, Greater London W1S 4BS England

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