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X Ray Amazing Facts

40 Amazing and Interesting Facts about X- Ray | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. X-rays were discovered by accident when German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen (1845–1923) was experimenting with vacuum tubes in 1895.
  2. Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was mystified by the radiation he had discovered when he discovered X-rays, so he temporarily called them “X-rays,” with the “x” being a symbol for something unknown. The name has stuck. X-rays are also medically called Roentgen rays.
  3. Amazingly Wilhelm Roentgen , the X-ray discoverer , never completed high school and was kicked out of college.
  4. X- ray is a kind of electromagnetic radiation, having a wavelength which is as minute as 4 billionth part of an inch! They are shorter than the UV rays but longer than gamma rays.
  5. The first use of an X-ray for clinical purposes was by John Hall-Edwards in Birmingham, England, on 11 January 1896, when he X-rayed a needle stuck in the hand of his associate. He was also the first to use X-rays in a surgical operation.
  6. Dr. Harvey Cushing of Harvard furthered the development of clinical X-rays that led to pioneering work in brain surgery to locate and remove tumors.
  7. Wilhelm Roentgen was awarded the very first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. He refused to take patents out related to his discovery because he wanted it to benefit mankind.
  8. X-radiation or X-ray is a form of high energy electromagnetic radiation. Other types of EM radiations are microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, and gamma rays etc. They all travel in waves, but have different wavelengths.
  9. When X-rays are passed through the body, some waves pass through the tissue and turn the film black. Other waves are blocked (e.g. by bones), which leaves white shadows on the film. Each kind of tissue lets X-rays through differently.
  10. The first X-ray was of Roentgen’s wife’s hand, complete with wedding ring, in 1895. However his wife was hardly impressed.
  11. From identifying broken bones to disease, the X-ray is one of the most useful medical advancements in history. It is also the oldest form of imaging.
  12. X-rays can be divided into hard X-rays and soft X-rays. Because hard X-rays have higher energy and, therefore, higher penetrative ability, they are used in medical radiography and airport security.
  13. X-rays were initially thought to be safe until scientists and others who working with them started dying mysteriously. It was Marie Curie’s work that would lead to safety advancements in the field of radiology and radiography.
  14. X-rays have enough energy to ionize atoms and disrupt molecular bonds, which makes them harmful to living tissue.
  15. Amazingly the effect of X-rays is cumulative meaning that minor doses over several years can equal a large dose at one time.
  16. Special types of X-rays include mammograms, dental X-rays, contrast X-rays, fluoroscopy, and CT scans. Other imaging techniques such as MRI and ultrasound do not use X-ray.
  17. Computed tomography or CT scan works on the same principles as fixed plate x rays, only with a CT scan, an x ray tube rotates around the individual, taking thousands of images that are then compiled by a computer to produce a two-dimensional cross section of the body. In CT scan, the total radiation exposure is low and photographs of the body’s internal organs can be taken.
  18. The first known human to be killed by X-rays was Clarence Dally who had spent a number of years working on Thomas Edison’s X-ray light bulb. He died in 1898 at the age of 39.
  19. Thomas Edison was afraid of X-rays after his assistant Clarence Dally showed signs of illness.
  20. Pregnant women should not have X-rays except for an emergency. Exposure of the fetus to X-rays can increase the risk of the child developing leukemia. X-rays remain the cornerstone of imaging techniques and account for at least 60%–80% of all diagnostic images.
  21. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is a part of the World Health Organization, classifies X-ray and gamma radiation as a “known human carcinogen.”
  22. A recent study found that children who received a radiation dose of a least 30 mGy (milligray) from a CT scan to the bone marrow had three times the risk of leukemia compared to those who received a dose of 5 mGy or less.
  23. Approximately 0.4% of current cancers in the U.S. are due to CT scans.
  24. A plain chest X-ray exposes a person to the same naturally occurring background radiation that a person is exposed to every day for 10 days.
  25. Exposure from a dental X-ray is roughly the same as being exposed to 1 day of environmental background radiation.
  26. A CT scan on the chest is equivalent to being exposed to two years of naturally occurring radiation.
  27. An X-ray on the spine is equivalent to 6 months of exposure to naturally occurring background radiation. A CT on the spine is equivalent to 2 years’ worth.
  28. An X-ray shoe-fitting fluoroscope was common in shoe stores during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. When a person put their foot in the fluoroscope, they were effectively standing on an X-ray tube. It was banned after serious radiation burns.
  29. Our understanding of the double-helix shape of DNA was provided in part by x-ray crystallography , a technique in which x-rays bounce off the three dimensional pattern of atoms within a crystal lattice to form a shadow image of its structure.
  30. X-rays have allowed scientists and art historians to see underpaintings , the rough sketches painters once used to guide their work among other secrets. It helps art historians gain a better understanding of the way artists once worked. X-rays can also show how paintings have been changed and restored over time.
  31. X-rays have also been to study priceless artifacts like Egyptian mummies without damaging them. They’ve even been used to peer inside opaque amber to view otherwise invisible fossils of ancient animals, insects, and plants.
  32. Emil Grubbe (1875-1960), a student at Hahnemann Medical College in Chicago, noticed that the skin from his hand would fall off after putting his hand in an X-ray machine. He suggested trying the rays on a breast-cancer patient, Rose Lee, who was terminally ill. Her cancer shrank and radiotherapy was born.
  33. X-rays are emitted by black holes, neutron stars, the sun, some comets, supernova remnants, and binary star systems etc.
  34. The Earth’s atmosphere is thick enough that almost no X-rays from outer space can enter to the Earth’s surface.
  35. The discovery of the first cosmic X-ray source (besides the sun) occurred in 1962. Called Scorpius X-1, this extrasolar X-ray source is the strongest known source of X-ray in the sky located about 9,000 light years away, in the Scorpius constellation. Today, many thousands of X-ray sources are known, though they are not as strong.
  36. An X-ray delivers about 10 million times more energy than a radio wave, which is the reason radio waves don’t hurt us.
  37. The scale from least dangerous (longest wavelengths) to the most dangerous (shortest) has radio waves at one end and then microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, UV radiation, X-rays, and then gamma rays at the other end.
  38. X-rays are actually visible to the dark adapted naked eye. Additionally, it is possible to see with the naked eye the ionization of the air molecules if the intensity of the X-ray beam is high enough.
  39. The Chandra X-ray is the most sophisticated observatory ever built by NASA in 1999, designed to capture X-ray emissions from hot regions of the universe to capture such spectacular images as exploding stars, black holes, and clusters of galaxies.
  40. In 2011, a camera that uses X-ray technology was revealed. By way of comparison, HD cameras capture 24 frames per second. The X-ray camera can capture an unprecedented 4.5 million frames per second. It is hoped that the new invention will shed new light on matter.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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