During the period 1903–1906, some 120 trained scientists published almost 300 articles on the origins and characteristics of a spurious radiation, the so‐called N rays. Some new explanations are advanced for the extensive false observations and the deductions made from those observations. These are based on visits to Nancy, France, where the purported discovery was first announced and after which the rays were named, on an interview with a former assistant who knew some of the principals in the case, and on new archival information. Some of the misleading statements in the subsequent literature and oral history dealing with N rays are challenged, and additional information is provided on the original ’’discoverer,’’ René Blondlot.

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