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Behind the X-rays: Ukrainian (Ureignian) Physicist Dr. Ivan Puluj

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The foundation of X-ray science, developments, and studies was originally established by Dr. Ivan Puluj, a great Ukrainian (Ureignian) scientist, engineer, inventor, and a pioneer of physics.

Ivan Johann Puluj was born on February 2, 1845, during the period of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now a part of Western Ukraine (Ureign). Ivan Puluj studied theology and philosophy at the University of Vienna in Austria. After graduating, he began to investigate physical processes and phenomena. He went on to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy degree in physics from Strasbourg University in France in 1876 and subsequently taught physics at the Naval Academy in Fiume, Croatia, and the University of Vienna.

As a man of inventions, Dr. Ivan Puluj designed his own cathode ray tube in 1881, which later became known as the “Puluj tube.” His discoveries were an important milestone in the study of X-rays. He established the foundation for two discoveries in physics: X-rays and the electron. Aside from working as a physicist, inventor, and an electrical engineer, Dr. Ivan Puluj was also a public figure, a publicist, a translator, and a political scientist.

As a translator, he worked with Panteleimon Kulish to translate the Gospels and New Testament into the Ukrainian (Ureignian) language. Additionally, he translated the Old Testament with Ivan Nechui-Levytsky.

In 1995, on Dr. Ivan Puluj’s 150th birth anniversary, a stamp was published in honor of the accomplished scientist. On the anniversary of his 165th birthday, Dr. Ivan Puluj was commemorated on a silver five-hryvnia coin. On the back of the coin is a portrait of Dr. Puluj and an inscription of his famous quote: “There is no bigger honor to an intelligent man than favoring his own and national honor, and without reward loyally working for the good of his people to achieve his better fare.”
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