Ever wondered what our lives would be like without x-rays? Well, thanks to Wilhelm Roentgen (1845-1923) we access to this amazing technology. Electromagnetic waves with short wavelengths have the ability to penetrate low-density materials, which is why we can put x-rays to so many uses.
In development, the ray was able to penetrate the lab walls, but its precise nature was unknown—which is where the “X” came from. Since it’s initial development, the x-ray has made significant strides in terms of technological advancements and applications. The most common use of x-rays is medical, but other industries benefit from the same technology. Here’s a look at some other industries that rely on x-ray technology.
Image credit: TIME
The x-ray machine has slowly but steadily found its way into the transport industry. Recent development in technology has utilized the rays as a means of scanning the baggage at the airport terminals.
The machine operates at a specific frequency and is high enough to penetrate hard-shelled baggage but low enough to prevent accidental exposure of the camera film. This development has proved a cost-effective means of promoting security since there is less personnel involved in the process.
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X-rays have played a major role in corpse identification for forensic investigations. Technology has paved way for the determination and identification of extensively charred or macerated bodies by use of antemortem radiographs. This is a key factor in determining the age and sex of unidentified remains.
Besides that technique, these rays have aided in visualizing gunpowder patterns in order to identify and localize projectiles and other components of ammunition. Additionally, they have proved valuable in complex injury evaluation for abused victims.
Continued advancements in technology is projected to bring about modern imaging methods, for instance, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography. This kind of digitalized postmortem imaging is a great alternative to the conventional autopsy.
Image credit: Gentle Family Dentistry
As you’ve likely experienced, x-rays are vital to dental care. X-rays are passed through the mouth and teeth. The bones absorb more rays than the soft tissue, which causes the tooth to appear lighter on the radiograph. Dentists use these x-rays to acquire more information about the teeth and gums and identify problems for instance tooth decay, cysts and tumors.
Are the dental rays safe? Definitely. The amount of exposure to radiation is small that the effects are negligible. Furthermore, they aren’t different from what people experience in their daily lives from other environmental influences.
With such huge technological advancements, x-rays will continue to prove useful in many other aspects of modern life, and leveraging this technology could even be a major boost to other sectors of the economy.
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