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 What are X-rays?

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PostSubject: What are X-rays?   Thu Feb 26 2009, 14:10


What is an X-Ray?

An X-ray picture is really a picture of the shadows cast by the denser materials (like bones) in your body.

These shadows are projected onto a film that has been coated with a sensitive material. The film is developed in a manner very similar to a photograph.

If the doctor suspects that you have a broken bone he will probably take an X-ray picture to check. X-rays are made of the same electromagnetic particles as light but with a much shorter wavelength. These shorter wavelengths allow X-rays to pass through the human body.

X-rays are produced in a special tube. Most of the air is pumped out of the tube. The tube holds a negatively charged electrode called a cathode. Inside the cathode is a tungsten wire which will give off electrons when heated. The tube also contains an anode, or target electrode. The anode is also made of tungsten. When the electrons emitted by the cathode hit the tungsten anode they are stopped abruptly and some of their energy is turned into X-radiation.

X-rays were named by their discoverer, Wilhelm Roentgen. He used the mathematical symbol X, which stands for an unknown, to denote his unknown rays.

Source: coolquiz.com
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