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X-Rays
X-radiation (composed of X-rays) is a form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays have a wavelength in the range of 10 to 0.01 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz (30 1015 Hz to 30 1018 Hz) and energies in the range 120 eV to 120 keV. They are shorter in wavelength than UV rays.
The Invention of X-rays was done by a German physicist called Wilhelm Roentgen.
The main use of X-rays is in medicine. A common application is in the form of X-ray machines, which take photos of a patient's body. If an arm or leg were broken for example, then this limb would be put in front of the X-ray with a piece of photographic film behind. The X -ray is turned on briefly and goes through to the film. The rays go through the skin and flesh easily, showing up as dark areas on the film, but with more difficulty through bone. They are slowed down and so these areas are much lighter. X-rays can also be used to kill cancer cells, but also kill healthy cells, so must be used with much care.
X-rays are used for diagnostic radiography and crystallography. Other uses are in industry, at airports to check customers and baggage.
A danger associated with X-rays is the extremely high voltage that occurs. In human beings an overdose exposure of X-rays may produce cancer, skin burns, and a reduction of the blood supply or other serious conditions. In plants or animals they may damage or even destroy living tissue.
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