The History of the X-Rays Essays

The History of the X-Rays Essays

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During the cold winter of 1895, a German scientist by the name of Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was working with a cathode-ray tube when he noticed nearby crystals were glowing. When Roentgen reached for the crystals he was amazed when the shadow cast on the crystal was not of his whole hand, but just his bones. Roentgen covered the tube with heavy black paper and saw that the crystals still glowed and the shadow of his hand bones still shown through, he then determined that a new ray was being emitted that could penetrate through thick materials. (1.) He later found that the rays could pass through most anything, but would cast a shadow of solid objects; these shadows could then be captured on film. Among the solid objects Roentgen shot with these rays was human tissue, the rays would penetrate the tissue, but the bones would cast a shadow, which could then be caught on film. One of Roentgen’s first experiments with X-rays was on his wife’s hand where, on the film, you could see her hand bones and her wedding ring. (1.) While the discovery of x-rays was a huge advancement in medical technology, they were not used in the medical field at first. Instead the mystical invisible rays that could penetrate solid objects were used in the industrial field.

However, once the public caught wind of these magic rays, the x-rays popularity skyrocketed. Within 6 months after the announcement of the discovery of x-rays the United States and Europe had built many medical x-ray machines to aid in surgery, and even x-ray machines for the battle field, in which field medics would use the rays to locate bullets in the bodies of wounded soldiers. (1.) While the x-rays gained popularity in the minds of the people of the world, they did not sell well. Befor...

... middle of paper ...

...en’s discovery, we might have never been able to progress the medical field as much as we have been able to in the time since his discovery. It truly is one of the most important breakthroughs in all of mankind’s existence. One I think almost everyone at some point in their life or another will benefit from.

Works Cited

(1.) "History of Radiography." NDT Resource center . N.P, N.D. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. .

(2.) Frame, Paul. "Coolidge X-rays Tubes." Oak Ridge Associated Universities, 24 June 2009. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. .

(3.) Sobel, Racheal K. "Inner Space: the Spinal Frontier." N.P., 2001. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. .

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