X-ray machine



The first X-ray device was discovered accidentally by the German scientist Wilhelm Roentgen (1845-1923) in 1895. He found that a cathode-ray tube emitted invisible rays that could penetrate paper and wood. The rays caused a screen of fluorescent material several yards away to glow. Roentgen used his device to examine the bone structure of the human hand. This

A modern x-ray unit.
A modern x-ray unit.
machine was really just a modified cathode-ray tube. True X-ray machines were not invented for several years.

Upon their discovery in 1895, X-rays were advertised as the new scientific wonder and were seized upon by entertainers. Circus patrons could view their own skeletons and were given pictures of their own bony hands wearing silhouetted jewelry. Many people were fascinated by this discovery. Some people, however, feared that it would allow strangers to look through walls and doors and eliminate privacy.

Medical Use of X-rays

The most important application of the X-ray has been its use in medicine. This importance was recognized almost immediately after Roentgen's findings were published in 1895. Within weeks of its first demonstration, an X-ray machine was used in America to diagnose bone fractures.

What Are X-rays?

X-rays are waves of electromagnetic energy. They behave in much the same way as light rays, but at much shorter wavelengths. When directed at a target, X-rays can often pass through the substance uninterrupted, especially when it is of low density. Higher density targets (like the human body) will reflect or absorb the X-rays. They do this because there is less space between the atoms for the short waves to pass through. Thus, an X-ray image shows dark areas where the rays traveled completely through the target (such as with flesh). It shows light areas where the rays were blocked by dense material (such as bone).

Thomas Alva Edison invented an X-ray fluoroscope in 1896. American physiologist Walter Cannon used Edison's device to observe the movement of barium sulfate through the digestive system of animals and, eventually, humans. (Barium sulfate is a fine white powder that is still used as a contrast medium in X-ray photography of the digestive tract.) In 1913 the first X-ray tube designed specifically for medical purposes was developed by American chemist William Coolidge (1873-1975). X-rays have since become the most reliable method for diagnosing internal problems.

Modern X-Ray Machines

Modern medical X-ray machines have been grouped into two categories: those that generate "hard" X-rays and those that generate "soft" X-rays. Soft X-rays are the kind used to photograph bones and internal organs. They operate at a relatively low frequency and, unless they are repeated too often, cause little damage to tissues.

Hard X-rays are very high frequency rays. They are designed to destroy the molecules within specific cells, thus destroying tissue. Hard X-rays are used in radiotherapy, a treatment for cancer. The high voltage necessary to generate hard X-rays is usually produced using cyclotrons or synchrotrons. These machines are variations of particle accelerators (atom smashers).

One of the more familiar X-ray machines is the security scanner used to examine baggage at airports. These machines use a very low-power scanner. They illuminate the interior of purses and suitcases without causing damage to the contents.

[See also Bragg, William Henry and William Lawrence ; Insulin ; Penicillin ]



User Contributions:

Dr. Nomaan
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Sep 25, 2007 @ 3:15 pm
I found exactly what i was looking for....Nice done
Deepali Choudhari
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Feb 1, 2008 @ 4:04 am
Machine is very useful to todays progressing world.
Gordon
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Mar 11, 2008 @ 6:18 pm
Dear Doctor,

I would like to know how to take a chest X-ray to a pregnant woman. Should the lead shield place at the back or in the front of her body?

The reason i am aksing is one of my friend was asked to take X-ray while pregnant, and the lead shield was place at the back? I wonder the if X-ray beam emmitted from the back?

Rgds,

Gordon
Sarah
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May 31, 2009 @ 12:12 pm
thank you so much! it is exactly what I needed and I appreciate people like you who spend time with this kind of thing and then curious about the reader's input.

thanks again
james
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Jan 17, 2010 @ 1:13 pm
Good website. Very informative. the information you have helped with my project.
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May 26, 2010 @ 1:01 am
Found exeactly what i was looking for ... and more !! Great job
lucky
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Jul 15, 2010 @ 1:13 pm
thanks for the infos you've shared here.. it was a great help..
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Jul 20, 2010 @ 12:00 am
thank you. It's really a help in my assignment.. hehe!
Jordyn Beans
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Sep 14, 2010 @ 1:13 pm
thanks for helping me with my home work. Your article helped me. The project i hope will impress my teacher because you are a very kind man for doing this.
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Oct 11, 2010 @ 6:06 am
Helped a lot with my assignment thanks again! have a good day
LeAnn
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Nov 29, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
This site really helped me with a report Thanks!!!
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Apr 12, 2011 @ 12:00 am
I would like to know about, if x-rays are used to study the structure of genes and how?
Nico
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Apr 12, 2011 @ 5:17 pm
I needed this for a research project



Thanks
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Apr 29, 2011 @ 10:10 am
I needed this for a research project and Its very wonderful
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May 26, 2011 @ 6:18 pm
it was great, but i think it would of been better with some information of how the german scientist found this machine.
matthew
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Jun 5, 2011 @ 7:19 pm
Dear doctor
this is amazing!
thanks a lot for the great help
I have an exam and this is perfect study material
thanks a million
Tufail
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Dec 15, 2011 @ 2:02 am
This summarized article is helpful to know the X-rays invention and function!
Sachi Blossoms
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Jan 16, 2012 @ 4:04 am
What a nice information! Thank you for those who made it!We love it!

From Sachi Blossoms Of Quezon National High School
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Mar 6, 2012 @ 8:08 am
What a nice information! Thank
you for those who made it!
This website is from another World.

From
Warri,Delta State, Nigeria.
Rebeca Gamez
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Mar 21, 2012 @ 2:02 am
Assume that X-ray was never discovered, and the uses of it were never invented. WHat do you think would be the greatest benefit of this, and what would be the most damaging? Why?
Laura
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Aug 20, 2012 @ 1:01 am
The site was really helpful but I was just wondering how the modern medical x-ray transforms it's energy into the waves of electromagnetic energy??
Thanks
Arslan ahmad
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Sep 5, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
The site was really helpful but I was just wondering how the modern medical x-ray transforms it's energy into the waves of electromagnetic energy??
Thanks
Shabnam Amini
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Dec 9, 2012 @ 3:03 am
I found the information very useful. I have a presentation about technology innovation.
Laura
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Dec 10, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Thankyou very much for this article, it was very informatative. I actually did not think of the scanners at airports to be an importance of the invention of x-rays before this. Thankyou for teaching me a new thing.
Abdiwelly
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Jan 31, 2013 @ 6:06 am
very interesting thank you.this summary has given me a very vital information that i had been doing research on.
dr. zboy
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Oct 26, 2014 @ 2:14 pm
thanks for the very nice information i will probably look for more stuff for projects on this sight.
Sandra Ward
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Nov 5, 2014 @ 11:23 pm
The invention of Xray is a big achievement. Nowadays, lots of improvement has been observed. I am using Point a tech services for Xray devices which is satisfactory.
wazup13
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Nov 8, 2014 @ 8:20 pm
I would like to know what materials are used to make these x-ray machines and how it contributes to radioacticity.

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