The ability to see through a variety of objects has long been a dream of various people. The dream became a reality after the discovery of X-ray machines are mainly used in medical applications. X-ray machine has undoubtedly saved many people with health problems are impossible to detect without the presence of this machine.
X-rays are actually an electromagnetic radiation carries energy, which is absorbed by some substances but not by other substances. One example is the use of X-rays to diagnose a fracture. In this procedure, the X-ray radiation is projected on the body of fractures. X-ray machines will fire photons that penetrate the body and partly absorbed by the bone. Photons that are not absorbed then caught on film that shows images and their bones broken or cracked happened.
In addition to the health sector, the X-ray scanning is also widely used in other fields such as to scan the luggage of passengers at the airport, or search for dangerous objects hidden like bombs or firearms.In November 1895, Wilhelm Rontgen, a German professor of physics discovered X-rays in examining the Crookes tube (tube containing gas to study the electron). Inadvertently, after wrapping a thin tube with black cardboard, he saw that some light make it through the cardboard. Upon further investigation, Rontgen discovered that these rays can pass through paper, books, and even his wife’s hand.
Images produced from bones of her hand printed complete with a ring she was wearing. This photo is credited as an X-ray image of the first part of the human body. Since then, the X-ray technology is growing. Two scientists who made a large contribution in the development of X-ray is Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison that makes scanning X-rays into a standard procedure in modern hospitals.
In the early 1920s, it was realized that the use of Crookes tubes can not be relied upon again. To generate a current, the tube should be partially filled with a gas, which would be absorbed by the glass and eventually lead to the emission of X-rays that are not optimal. Crookes tube was also considered inefficient because it must always be replaced after a fire. This condition then encourages the Coolidge tube that uses a filament of tungsten and heated by an electric current. Coolidge tube is much more efficient than the Crookes tube and is still used in modern medicine and is the basis for most of the X-ray machine at the moment.
Being one of the most useful tools in the field of health, radiologist using a scanning X-rays to produce images of internal structures of the body of the patient. This allows various diagnoses such as broken bones, looking for the possibility of a tumor, and even saw the gastrointestinal tract can be done more accurately. By using the ‘space ion’ located between the patient and X-ray film, radiologists can adjust the amount of emitted radiation exposure to the patient.
Various types of X-ray machines are used for different applications. For example, the X-ray machine at the airport produces a very low radiation that is safe to use. As technology advances, the X-ray procedure also progressed. In the 1980s, the technology of X-ray laser was proposed but later abandoned because of the limitations of the current technology capabilities.However, the evolving technology allows the X-ray machine the future of smaller, less dangerous, and most importantly have the ability to scan better, so the potential to save more patients.