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What are X-rays and what are its properties and uses ?

In 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a German physicist, observed while doing some experiments with a discharge tube that when cathode rays are allowed to fall on a metal target called anticathode placed in their path, new kinds of radiations are produced. These radiations are called X-rays.

Copd x ray - Copd x-ray - respiratory disorders - medhelp

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Properties of X-rays

X-rays have the following properties:

  • They travel in straight lines
  • They are not bent in an electric or magnetic field
  • They can pass through opaque objects like black paper
  • They can affect a photographic plate wrapped in black paper Later studies on X-rays revealed that they are in fact electromag­netic waves of very short wavelengths.

Uses of X-rays

The discovery of X-rays has brought about revolutionary changes in medical science. X-rays are used to take pictures of fractured bones. Solid bone does not allow X-rays to pass through it and it is seen as an opaque image on X-ray film. The crack between two parts of a fractured bone can be seen easily on the X-ray film. Other problems, like infections in the lungs can be diagnosed with the help of X-rays.

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