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Posted by on Jan 20, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

How Does an X-ray Take a Picture of a Person’s Insides?

How Does an X-ray Take a Picture of a Person’s Insides?

How do X-ray take a picture of a person’s insides. Doctors use X-ray pictures to see inside the body. These “pictures” are actually shadow pictures of the bones and organs. X-rays are like light rays, but they are more penetrating than an ordinary light ray. X-rays can pass through most solid objects.

To make an X-ray picture of a person’s insides, the X-ray machine shoots through the person onto a piece of photographic film. When the film is developed, it shows a shadowy picture of the bones, as well as other things inside the body.

X-rays help doctors locate broken bones and diagnose certain diseases.

How does it work? X-rays are able to penetrate through materials of light atoms like flesh. The heavier atoms like metal absorb them.

A beam of high energy electrons crashes into a metal target and x-rays are produced.  A filter near the x-ray source blocks the low energy rays so only the high energy rays pass through a patient toward a sheet of film.

Along with the sheet of film, a second sheet of film prevents the scattered x-rays from fogging the picture.

Calcium in bones is considered a type of metal and when photographic film is placed on the body, this allows the technician to take the picture and an x-ray is developed to solve or analyze the problem.

Since Röntgen’s discovery that X-rays can identify bone structures, X-rays have been used for medical imaging. The first medical use was less than a month after his paper on the subject. Up to 2010, five billion medical imaging examinations had been conducted worldwide. Radiation exposure from medical imaging in 2006 made up about 50% of total ionizing radiation exposure in the United States.

Content for this question contributed by Doni Palmer, resident of Pendleton, Oregon, USA