X-ray machines operate the same way a camera does, but instead of using visible light, they use X-rays to expose the film. These rays resemble light because they are electromagnetic waves just like light, but have higher energy that enable them to penetrate different materials at varying degrees.Know More
X-ray machines are used by health practitioners, such as radiographers to conduct X-ray examinations, and radiologists to interpret the images produced by the machines. The frequency of X-rays is high, making them able to penetrate through the human body. During the penetration, energy particles known as photons are absorbed by the body at different rates. This pattern is what is shown in an X-ray image.
Parts of the body made of dense material, such as the bones, are shown as clear white areas in the image while softer parts, such as the lungs and the heart are shown as the dark areas. During an X-ray examination, the part of the body being examined is positioned between a photographic plate and the X-ray machine. Within a fraction of a second, the X-rays from the machine pass through the body and hit the photographic plate, which captures a snapshot of the image. The captured image is then transferred to a computer for further analysis.Learn more about Diagnostics & Imaging
The "x" in x-ray was used because the scientist who discovered x-rays, Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen, didn't know the nature of the rays; like in a mathematical equation, they represented an unknown. The x-ray was discovered in 1895.Full Answer >
X-rays to examine the spine help a physician diagnose problems with the neck or back that include fractures, arthritis and slipped or dislocated vertebrae, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. X-rays can also detect disk degeneration, tumors, spine alignment problems and congenital abnormalities of the spine.Full Answer >
An individual prepares for an X-ray by removing clothing from the part of the body being X-rayed, as well as taking off eyeglasses, jewelry and accessories with metal objects that may appear in the X-ray, according to the Mayo Clinic. The patient may also be given a contrasting medium.Full Answer >
A chest X-ray shows the lungs, heart, blood vessels and other structures inside the chest. If a person's chest X-ray is normal, the ribs and spine appear light and the air-filled lungs appear dark, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.Full Answer >