TO X-RAYS AND GAMMA RAYS
reading this section you will be able to do the following:
why X-rays are important and how we use them.
When we go to the dentist to get our teeth cleaned, the dentist
may want to take a picture of them to see if we have any cavities.
This is not really a picture, but rather something called a radiograph,
or an X-ray. Your dentist is actually using a small amount of
radiation to create a radiograph which is an image of your teeth.
The radiation that a dentist or doctor uses is often called X-rays.
X-rays are a form of electromagnetic energy just light-rays and
micro-waves are. X-rays have more energy than light-rays so they
can penetrate and travel through materials that light-rays cannot.
Film is sensitive to x-rays in the same way that it is to light-rays,
so X-rays can be used produce images. X-rays that are sent through
an object can produce an image on a piece of film placed on the
opposite side of the object. By examining the image or radiograph,
the dentist can examine teeth for things such as cavities, which
are not always readily seen. Cavities can be very small defects
in your teeth. They are often too small to be seen by simply examining
your teeth with the naked eye.
X-rays also aid in the treatment of
medical patients who have cancer. They can kill the bad cells
so that they cannot continue to divide and spread. X-rays can
also be used to kill bacteria that causes food to spoil. This
is what was used to preserve the food that the astronauts ate
while on the moon and in space.
Did you know that X-rays are also used to produce radiographs
of materials and objects to locate internal cracks and other defects?
Many important parts are radiographed before they are put into
our cars, and welders often radiograph their welds to make sure
they have done a good job.
Film is not always used. Specialized pieces of equipment have
been developed that are sensitive to X-rays and produce a image
that can be viewed on a video monitor. You may have seen one of
these instruments in use at the airport X-raying passengers' baggage
to ensure that harmful objects are not taken on to the aircraft.
Radiation has all sorts of uses that
are very important to all of us. Continue on to learn more about
doctors, NDE inspectors, and airport personal are just some
examples of people who use X-rays in their jobs.
can be used to "look inside" an object and to locate
defects in materials.