<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

X-rays

In the 1850s, scientists (such as Faraday) began experimenting with high-voltage electrical discharges in tubes filled with rarefied gases. It was later found that these discharges created an invisible, penetrating form of very high frequency electromagnetic radiation. This radiation was called an X-ray    , because its identity and nature were unknown.

As described in Things Great and Small , there are two methods by which X-rays are created—both are submicroscopic processes and can be caused by high-voltage discharges. While the low-frequency end of the X-ray range overlaps with the ultraviolet, X-rays extend to much higher frequencies (and energies).

X-rays have adverse effects on living cells similar to those of ultraviolet radiation, and they have the additional liability of being more penetrating, affecting more than the surface layers of cells. Cancer and genetic defects can be induced by exposure to X-rays. Because of their effect on rapidly dividing cells, X-rays can also be used to treat and even cure cancer.

The widest use of X-rays is for imaging objects that are opaque to visible light, such as the human body or aircraft parts. In humans, the risk of cell damage is weighed carefully against the benefit of the diagnostic information obtained. However, questions have risen in recent years as to accidental overexposure of some people during CT scans—a mistake at least in part due to poor monitoring of radiation dose.

The ability of X-rays to penetrate matter depends on density, and so an X-ray image can reveal very detailed density information. [link] shows an example of the simplest type of X-ray image, an X-ray shadow on film. The amount of information in a simple X-ray image is impressive, but more sophisticated techniques, such as CT scans, can reveal three-dimensional information with details smaller than a millimeter.

An X ray image of the chest is shown. It shows the section of the heart with artificial heart valves, a pacemaker, and the wires used to close the sternum.
This shadow X-ray image shows many interesting features, such as artificial heart valves, a pacemaker, and the wires used to close the sternum. (credit: P. P. Urone)

The use of X-ray technology in medicine is called radiology—an established and relatively cheap tool in comparison to more sophisticated technologies. Consequently, X-rays are widely available and used extensively in medical diagnostics. During World War I, mobile X-ray units, advocated by Madame Marie Curie, were used to diagnose soldiers.

Because they can have wavelengths less than 0.01 nm, X-rays can be scattered (a process called X-ray diffraction) to detect the shape of molecules and the structure of crystals. X-ray diffraction was crucial to Crick, Watson, and Wilkins in the determination of the shape of the double-helix DNA molecule.

X-rays are also used as a precise tool for trace-metal analysis in X-ray induced fluorescence, in which the energy of the X-ray emissions are related to the specific types of elements and amounts of materials present.

Gamma rays

Soon after nuclear radioactivity was first detected in 1896, it was found that at least three distinct types of radiation were being emitted. The most penetrating nuclear radiation was called a gamma ray     ( γ size 12{g} {} ray) (again a name given because its identity and character were unknown), and it was later found to be an extremely high frequency electromagnetic wave.

Questions & Answers

what is temperature
Adeleye Reply
temperature is the measure of degree of hotness or coldness of a body. measured in kelvin
Ahmad
a characteristic which tells hotness or coldness of a body
babar
Average kinetic energy of an object
Kym
average kinetic energy of the particles in an object
Kym
A measure of the quantity of heat contained in an object which arises from the average kinetic energy of the constituent particles of that object. It can be measured using thermometers. It has a unit of kelvin in the thermodynamic scale and degree Celsius in the Celsius scale.
ibrahim
Mass of air bubble in material medium is negative. why?
Hrithik Reply
a car move 6m. what is the acceleration?
Umaru Reply
depends how long
Peter
What is the simplest explanation on the difference of principle, law and a theory
Kym Reply
how did the value of gravitational constant came give me the explanation
Varun Reply
how did the value of gravitational constant 6.67×10°-11Nm2kg-2
Varun
A steel ball is dropped onto a hard floor from a height of 1.50 m and rebounds to a height of 1.45 m. (a) Calculate its velocity just before it strikes the floor.
Kris Reply
9.8m/s?
Muhammad
Sqrt(2*1.5m*9.81m/s^2)
Richard
0.5m* mate.
Muhammad
0.05 I meant.
Muhammad
Guess your solution is correct considering the ball fall from 1.5m height initially.
Muhammad
Sqrt(2*1.5m*9.81m/s^2)
Deepak
How can we compare different combinations of capacitors?
Prakash Reply
find the dimension of acceleration if it's unit is ms-2
Happiness Reply
lt^-2
Ahmad
b=-2 ,a =1
Ahmad
M^0 L^1T^-2
Sneha
what is botany
Masha
it is a branch of science which deal with the study of plants animals and environment
Varun
what is work
Sunday Reply
a boy moving with an initial velocity of 2m\s and finally canes to rest with a velocity of 3m\s square at times 10se calculate it acceleration
Sunday
.
Abdul
6.6 lol 😁😁
Abdul
show ur work
Sunday
sorry..the answer is -10
Abdul
your question is wrong
Abdul
If the boy is coming to rest then how the hell will his final velocity be 3 it'll be zero
Abdul
re-write the question
Nicolas
men i -10 isn't correct.
Stephen
using v=u + at
Stephen
1/10
Happy
ya..1/10 is very correct..
Stephen
hnn
Happy
how did the value 6.67×10°-11Nm2kg2 came tell me please
Varun
Work is the product of force and distance
Kym
physicist
Michael
what is longitudinal wave
Badmus Reply
A longitudinal wave is wave which moves parallel or along the direction of propagation.
sahil
longitudinal wave in liquid is square root of bulk of modulus by density of liquid
harishree
Is British mathematical units the same as the United States units?(like inches, cm, ext.)
Nina Reply
We use SI units: kg, m etc but the US sometimes refer to inches etc as British units even though we no longer use them.
Richard
Thanks, just what I needed to know.
Nina
What is the advantage of a diffraction grating over a double slit in dispersing light into a spectrum?
Uditha Reply
can I ask questions?
Boniface Reply
yes.
Abdul
Yes
Albert
sure
Ajali
yeap
Sani
yesssss
bilal
hello guys
Ibitayo
when you will ask the question
Ana
anybody can ask here
bichu
is free energy possible with magnets?
joel
no
Mr.
you could construct an aparatus that might have a slightly higher 'energy profit' than energy used, but you would havw to maintain the machine, and most likely keep it in a vacuum, for no air resistance, and cool it, so chances are quite slim.
Mr.
calculate the force, p, required to just make a 6kg object move along the horizontal surface where the coefficient of friction is 0.25
Gbolahan
Yes ask
Albert
if a man travel 7km 30degree east of North then 10km east find the resultant displacement
Ajali Reply
11km
Dohn
disagree. Displacement is the hypotenuse length of the final position to the starting position. Find x,y components of each leg of journey to determine final position, then use final components to calculate the displacement.
Daniel
1.The giant star Betelgeuse emits radiant energy at a rate of 10exponent4 times greater than our sun, where as it surface temperature is only half (2900k) that of our sun. Estimate the radius of Betelgeuse assuming e=1, the sun's radius is s=7*10exponent8metres
James Reply
2. A ceramic teapot (e=0.20) and a shiny one (e=0.10), each hold 0.25 l of at 95degrees. A. Estimate the temperature rate of heat loss from each B. Estimate the temperature drop after 30mins for each. Consider only radiation and assume the surrounding at 20degrees
James

Get the best College physics course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'College physics' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask