An X-ray is considered a form of electromagnetic radiation. It is also called X-radiation (composed of X-rays) or Rontegen Radiation in several countries. Wilhelm Rontegen discovered this technology and named it X-radiation.

Essentially the goal is to look at something below the skin and below the surface.x-ray-handstand

An X-ray is used that has a wavelength range from 0.01 to 10 Nanometers. These wavelengths are longer than gamma rays and shorter than UV rays. These wavelengths are shorter than visible light. The Frequency is between 30 ptahertz and 30 exahertz and energies from 100 eV to 100 KeV.

Hard X-ray – higher energies (above 5-10 KeV)

–  This can go through objects
–  Used in Medicine
–  Used in Airport Security
–  sed in X-ray crystallography

Soft X-ray – lower energies

–  Easily absorbed


–  X-ray photons carry energy and can cause ionizing radiation.
–  In extremely large quantities – can be harmful.
–  Radiation sickness occurs when very high doses are given in a short duration of time.
–  Radiation Therapy is when ionizing treatment is done to kill malignant cells.


1.)  X-ray Tube

–  Target is Tungsten, Rhenium, molybdenum, or others

2.)  Vacuum Tube

X-ray1X-ray Detector

–  Vary in many shapes and functions.
–  Flat panel, image plates, chambers, and more

Two main forms of X-rays

1.)  Projectional Radiographs

–  Commonly known as X-rays
–  Typical is a one time shot of the desired area.
–  Can have use of radio-opaque contrast such as barium

2.)  Fluoroscopy

–  Produces real-time images of internal structures
–  Is a constant input of X-ray
–  Contrast is used – barium, iodine, and air are used.
–  It can be useful in image-guided procedures.
–  Feedback of position and guidance is essential

xrayprocRadiographs are useful at looking at the following

–  Skeletal system
–  Broken Bones
–  Soft tissue injuries
–  Chest and lungs
–  Search for pneumonia
–  Search for Cancer
–  Search for pulmonary edema
–  Search for abdominal problems
–  Bowel or Intestinal obstruction
–  Free fluid or air in the stomach
–  Gallstones
–  Kidney stones
–  Cavities
–  Other dental issues
–  Others

*** – some areas would have more success by other forms of evaluation such as MRI or CT scan.