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How does an X-ray machine work? Part 3
How X-ray machines work
The Simple Way
The basic way X rays work is by sending “X rays” through parts of the body. X rays go through flesh and soft tissues, yet are stopped by bones. So if a photographic plate is on the other side of body, a negative photo can be produced, making bones look white or blue-ish, while flesh and soft tissues are dark and faded out, or see through.
Simple diagram of how an X-Ray works.
The Complicated Way
X rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation—*oscillating electric and magnetic fields traveling at the speed of light. *Oscillating is Move or swing back and forth at a regular speed.* X Rays are usually used for their use of seeing through flesh and bone. They go through soft skin, but are mostly stopped by bones, which absorb them. So if a photographic film that is sensitive to X rays is placed behind the part is getting X rayed, and an X Ray source is placed in front, X ray exposure will give you a picture of the persons bones and organs. When the film is developed, a negative image is made: bones and dense tissues show up as light or white regions, while tissues that are easily penetrated by X rays appear dark.
It is mainly used to see bones, yet also can be used to kill cancer cells, and see tumors. X-Rays can also be dangerous if you have a prolonged exposer. It used to take 15 minutes to produce and use an X-ray, yet today it only take 1/30th of a second. Although bones are the most opaque structures in the body, there are many dense tissues, such as cancer tumors, that can also show up unusually light in radiographs. Doctors use these pictures to diagnose disease, detect techniques such as these have one major fluke; structures may be messed up by overlying organs, or soft tissues, which don’t allow clear viewing. This issue is of importance in finding brain tumors and other hurt sites in the brain. For such reasons, a new form of X-ray process was made, called computed tomography, or CT. It was formerly known as computerized axial tomography, or CAT.
Lots care must be taken with X-rays, because this radiation is energetic to ionize some atoms within the cell—that is, to separate electrons from nuclei—and cause damage. All areas of the patient's body outside the area intended for the radiograph must be shielded by a material (generally a metal) that absorbs X rays, and X-ray doses should be kept to a minimum. Doctors, dentists, nurses, and technicians must be similarly protected by opaque shields to prevent excessive X-ray damage. Yet, the damaging effects of X-rays, like those of other types of energetic radiation, may be put to medical use. All forms of radiation affect rapidly dividing cells more than slowly developing cells because the genetic material that governs cell division is sensitive to radiation. Therefore, doctors sometimes use concentrated bursts of X-rays to kill cancer cells, which divide rapidly, while minimizing damage to the surrounding healthy cells that divide more slowly. X-rays can also be used to identify unknown materials. When an object is hailed with X-rays, its atoms absorb the energy and reemit it with a set of characteristic frequencies. These reemitted X-rays are called fluorescence X-rays, and by analyzing them scientists can determine the particular elements that make up the material.
-------------------------------------- Citations ---------------------------------------------
“X ray Compton's by Britannica Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2011. Web. 15 Sept. 2011.
Garcia Kimberly, Wilhelm Roentgen and the discovery of x rays Location Bear, Del. Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2003, Print
McClafferty, Carla, The head bones connected to the neck bone: the weird, wacky, and wonderful x-ray, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001, New York, Print
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