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How Technologies Work: X-Rays

Year 12 Physics

Finding Resources in Accessit


Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies.  Search the Bennies catalogue Accessit for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS.


Live Science

X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation, as are radio waves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation and microwaves. One of the most common and beneficial uses of X-rays is for medical imaging. X-rays are also used in treating cancer and in exploring the cosmos. 

Spectrum Properties

X-Ray Applications


Technological advances developed from our understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum have provided medical technologists sophisticated tools with which to analyse and interpret bodily processes for diagnostic purposes. These methods are usually non-invasive processes for identifying and monitoring diseases or injuries of the body by using images representing internal anatomical structures and organs of the body.

Ultrasound, computed axial tomography, positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are methods that can often provide clear diagnostic pictures without surgery. Perhaps the greatest advantage of each of these techniques is their ability to allow diagnosis without the need for surgery. Diagnostic imaging expands the knowledge of practitioners and the practice of medicine.

You Tube

X-rays were one of the first forms of biomedical imaging and NIBIB's 60 Seconds of Science explain how they create those images of bones we all know well.

A closer look at a real X-ray tube, and the process of generating X-rays.


Radiology Masterclass

This tutorial describes how X-rays are produced and how they interact with the body in forming a radiographic image. X-ray safety issues are briefly discussed.


X-rays are produced due to sudden deceleration of fast moving electrons when they collide and interact with the target anode. In this process of deceleration, more than 99% of the electron energy is converted into heat and less than 1% of energy is converted into X-rays.