How does an X-Ray machine work?
X-ray machines are used in a medical imaging procedure known as radiology. The procedure involves the use of electromagnetic radiation to create images of the internal body. These images can then be viewed digitally or on films. X-rays are usually done to determine and locate bone fractures and help doctors with their diagnosis. However, the procedure is also done to examine organs such as the lungs and the heart for various medical purposes.
The machine emits a heavy and concentrated beam of electrons called X-ray photons. The photons travel through air, make contact with the body and its tissues, and produce an image on a metal film. The beam’s high-energy rays cannot be absorbed by soft tissues like the skin and organs. Therefore, the beam passes through them. But, the solid bones of the body absorb the photons. Like a camera film, the X-ray machine’s film only develops images of the places which were exposed to the rays. In a film, the black areas represent the places where the photons passed through soft tissues. The white areas represent the denser tissues, i.e. the bones which can absorb the photons. The areas of the bones which are fractured will be displayed in black as there is no tissue or organ to stop the X-rays from passing through.
The photo which is created is called a radiograph. Sometimes doctors put a type of dye into the body to generate clearer and more detailed images for the purpose of examination. An X-ray procedure is painless. However, frequent exposure to such rays may lead to cancer in the future because the radiation from X-ray machines contain enough energy to damage the human DNA. However, the risk for this is very low.