Random Ramblings

#147 : X – X-Ray

If you are wondering how the heck is an X-Ray related to an engineer like me, hold that thought. We had one paper in our course work dedicated to studying medical instruments. X-Ray, ECG,EEG,EKG, you name it, we’ve read it. It’s one subject which was supposed to be interesting, but fell flatter than a flat tyre.

So what is X-Ray? A device used to check if you have any broken bones. That’s a rather crude form of putting it.

X-Ray is basically an electromagnetic radiation with wavelength shorter than the UV Rays (Ultra Violet? Sun? Radiation? Rings a bell I hope).

Fun fact : X-Ray was discovered by  Wilhelm Röntgen. Poor fellow was all lost and confused and couldn’t figure out what the heck these rays were. So he named them X-Ray where X signified the unknown. Oh and this doesn’t have any connection to the X we were often tortured to find in our math subjects.

As mentioned earlier, the X-Ray is used to check for broken bones and stuff. The thing is, our bones contains a lot of calcium. The calcium absorbs X-Rays well. This reduces the amount of X-rays reaching the detector in the shadow of the bones, making them clearly visible on the radiograph.

However, these rays used for diagnostic purpose are harmful for the body and induce cancer when dosed in large amount.

There are plenty of other uses of X-Rays including industrial applications, crystallography, astronomy and microscopy.

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