Xray equipment play a very important role in medical and engineering fields as well as many other areas of life. They are used by doctors all the time to diagnose medical problems. Any fracture or abnormality in the body can be identified using these machines. Nowadays, it is almost impossible to find a medical facility in the developed world that does not have an x-ray machine. Keep reading to learn more about how these machines work.
For x-rays to be produced, high velocity electrons must strike a heavy atom anode metal. In modern x-ray machines, a filament is heated by passing current through it. This causes electrons to be emitted. Due to the potential difference between the cathode and the anode, the electrons are attracted to the anode, and they move with great speed and force towards the anode. When the electrons hit the tungsten anode, x-ray photons are emitted.
X-ray machines have a lead shield which prevents the x-ray photons from moving in every direction. The lead shield has a small window that allows the x-rays to move in the desired direction. Several filters are normally used to get rid of harmful radiation before the x-ray beam can reach the patient. A camera-like object with a film is normally placed behind the patient to capture the x-ray image.
Different parts of the body normally form images with different shades. For instance, bones produce white images while soft tissue, muscles and cartilage form grey or black images. If the patient has bone fracture, the x-ray image will clearly show this. When the physician wants to get a clear view of the stomach, intestines or the lungs, the intensity of the x-rays can be adjusted to provide for this.
X-ray equipment can also be used in radiation therapy to manage cancer. In such cases, higher energy radiation is normally used to kill the cancer. The procedure must be done very carefully to ensure that the patient does not develop radiation sickness. The radiography room must also be shielded to contain the radiation within the room.
Regular x-ray machines are very heavy, and largely stationery. Modern machines are however more portable. In fact, there are highly portable x-ray machines in the market today. These devices can be utilized in the field to detect leakages and cracks in heavy industrial equipment. The same precautions that are observed when using regular x-ray machines must also be kept in mind when using these portable devices.
Almost every airport nowadays has an x-ray scanner. This piece of equipment has many advantages over traditional security procedures like frisking and going through luggage. For one it is a more effective option. Secondly, it is much faster. The x-ray can produce clear images of knives, explosives and firearms which will alarm security officials. This helps to ensure maximum security in airports.
There are some safety precautions that must be observed when using xray equipment. For instance, there is a limit regarding the intensity of radiation that a person can be exposed to. There is also an age limit for people who can undergo this procedure. For instance, these tests are not suitable for little children. The technicians who operate these machines are required to wear protective clothing so as to avoid being exposed to too much radiation. Patients should also be informed about the possible problems they may develop during the procedure.
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