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Roentgen Prize at Justus Liebig University

This prize is awarded for new, excellent scientific work and achievements in the fields of radiation physics or radiation biology. The award primarily seeks to reward work done by junior researchers.


In memory of Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a full professor of physics at the University of Giessen from 1879-1888, Justus Liebig University Giessen has been awarding the Roentgen Prize since 1960.

This is made possible through the commitment of Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG together with the Dr. Erich Pfeiffer Foundation e.V. and the Ludwig Schunk Foundation e.V. in Giessen, whose cooperation provides 15,000 Euros in prize money. With support from more donor companies from the region, the Roentgen Prize was awarded from 1960-1970 by the Natural Science Faculty of Justus Liebig University.


The life of Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen

(The following text is largely based on the publication "Significant people at the University of Giessen," page 12.)



Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was a full professor of physics at the University of Giessen from 1879 to 1888.  He later taught at the Universities of Würzburg and Munich.  For the discovery of X-rays at the Physics Institute of the University of Würzburg on November 8th, 1895, he became the first person to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901.  Roentgen himself called his discovery "X-rays," as they are currently known in English; however, they are named after him in German (Röntgenstrahlen).

During his time in Giessen, Roentgen had the Physics Institute moved from Frankfurter Strasse into the new headquarters building of the university.  He also published about 20 scientific articles on topics ranging from "Roentgen tones," showing that gasses absorb heat rays, to "Roentgen currents," evidence of the magnetic field generated from a displacement current.

Today many honors and awards are bestowed in honor of Roentgen, e.g., the Roentgen Medal of the city of Remscheid, the Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen Prize of the University of Würzburg, the Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen Prize of the German Radiological Society for medical radiology, as well as the Roentgen Prize of the University of Giessen for excellent work in radiation physics and radiation biology. Moreover, he is commemorated by monuments in numerous German cities, including Giessen. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen felt especially connected to the city of Giessen. According to his own wishes, he was buried in the Old Cemetery of Giessen, where one can still find his tombstone.


Previous winners of the Roentgen Prize

Overview table of prize winners


Guidelines for awarding the Roentgen Prize

The award is 15,000 Euros. You can find the complete guidelines for awarding the Roentgen Prize in the Justus Liebig University notifications.

Nomination procedures

Works to be nominated must be submitted by April 30th of each year to the following person:

Prof. Dr. Markus H. Thoma
1st Physics Institute
Heinrich-Buff-Ring 16
35392 Giessen


Donor companies

Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology GmbH Schunk GmbH and
Ludwig Schunk Foundation e.V., Giessen