X-Rays: From Discovery to Practical Application Essay

X-Rays: From Discovery to Practical Application Essay

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This is a scientific report on x-rays, it’s history, uses, implications and other relevant facts. More relevance will be given to its medical uses/ importance as it was the most beneficial trait that x-rays brought.
X-rays were discovered in 1895 when Wilhelm Conrad Röentgen was doing some experiments with electron beams in a gas discharge tube and observed a glow in one of his fluorescent screens whenever the electron beam was on.
It was a fact that fluorescent material usually glowed in reaction to magnetic radiation but the gas discharge tube was surrounded by heavy black cardboard which was assumed by Roentgen to block most of the radiation. Confused and curious, Roentgen then put several objects between the tube and the glowing screen with nothing different happening, only after he put his hand he was able to see the silhouette of his bones projected on the fluorescent screen.
Not only he had discovered x-rays he had also discovered its most important use: allow doctors to examine patient’s bones, cavities and swallowed objects without having to cut them open – useful non-invasive method.
X-rays are invisible high-energy electromagnetic radiation that tend to act equally like a particle and a wave, which explains why x-ray detectors collect actual photons of x-ray light.
Fig. 1
The bones and teeth are denser than the skin or other soft tissue therefore they absorb more x-rays, when an x-rays film is put on one side of the body and x-rays are shot through the body only the radiation that goes through the softer tissues reaches the film and changes its colour, that is why it is possible to see the bones’ silhouette making it possible to diagnose broken or cracked bones. The examination of softer tissues like the...

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...rks.com/x-ray.htm> [Access date 20th October 2011]
[Access date 20th October 2011]
[Access date 20th October 2011]
Ron Kurtus, 2007. X-ray Health Risks. [online] Available at [Access date 22nd October 2011]

Fred Kavalier, 2003. X-rays and Radiation. [online] Available at [Access date 22nd October 2011]
Fig. 1 NASA, The Electromagnetic Spectrum. [online] Available at:< URL:http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/images/EM_Spectrum3-new.jpg> [Access date 25th October 2011]
Fig. 2 [Access date 22th October 2011]

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