Thursday, July 1, 2010


It's Thursday, and although I am hoping to put up some images of items I've been working on, ARTwise.  I have to attend my Alphabe-Thursday class.

Today's letter is X, as an X-ray and MRI Technologist, I felt it only fitting to share some info with you about X-rays.

X-rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum; light waves as it were…you know ROYGBIV, among others.  These are measured in waves.  From Largest to smallest they are:
Radio waves, Microwaves, Infrared, Visible Light, Ultraviolet, X-rays, Gamma Rays.

X-rays were accidentally discovered by a German scientist Wilhelm Roentegen in 1895 when experimenting with Vacuum tubes. (Kind of neat when we think about it, medical imaging has only been around for a little over 100 years) The accidental finding was actually due to him having something in his back pants pocket at the time, and it burned his butt! :D

A week later, Wilhelm took an X-ray photograph of his wife's hand which clearly revealed her wedding ring and her bones.  The Photograph electrified the general public and aroused great scientific interest in the new form of radiation. Roentgen called it "X" to indicate it was an unknown type of radiation. The name stuck, although (over Roentgen's objections), many of his colleagues suggested calling them Roentgen rays. They are still occasionally referred to as Roentgen rays in German-speaking countries. (he did not realize it at the time, but he actually way over-radiated his wife with that photograph(you can see by how black the bones and ring appear), as well as himself with the accidental x-ray of the metal object in his back pocket.)

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was a German scientist born on March 27, 1845 in Rhenish, Russia. Wilhelm was raised in the Netherlands as an only child. He earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Zurich in 1869. In 1875 he became a professor at an academy in Wurttenburg. He was then appointed the head of physics chair at the University of Giessen. During an experiment in 1895 involving vaccuum tubes when an electrical discharge ran through the tubing system.

Wilhelm then made various alterations to the experiment, replacing variables similar to the gold foil experiment of Ernest Rutherford. He discovered a new type of wavelength being produced by his experiment, and soon realized they were radioactive x-rays. The final experiment Roentgen used to conclude his discovery was his wife's hand which he held under the radioactive x-ray machine.(as listed above)He was awarded the first Nobel Prize of physics in 1901, and then died of carcinoma in 1923.

This is just a taste of what X-rays are.  Today's lesson is brought to you by the letter "X"
You can read other great "X" lessons here:Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday


Greg said...

I really enjoy Alphebe-Thursdays.I learn something new every week. Thanks!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I did not know this. Thanks for the heads up.

Jingle said...


Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

I found this very interesting! Thanks.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I did something on X-rays too, but I have to admit even after reading the history I didn't understand how they work. I'm just glad we have them and that they have improved on the safety over the years.

I was amazed that they've been around for so long and are still the first thing usually used when trying to make a diagnosis.

The Muse said...

still amazing to think of the wondrous breakthroughs which were made so long ago...we use so unassumingly today.

great post to bring our history back into perspective. :)!!!

Happy x day !

Blessings From The Muse
A Diva's Hammer Prose
X Post:
~Excursion of Xeranthemum~

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

We learned about Roentgen in dental hygiene too. Can you imagine all that radiation on his wife and on him? Amazing how things are discovered!

Thanks for an informative X post!

Blessings & Aloha!
(slightly late with getting to the X posts...I'd love if you are able to check mine out :o)

Have a safe and wonderful July 4th!

Jo said...

This is a great class ... i love learning something new!

Viki said...

You learn something new all the time. Very interesting and great X post.

Cheryl said...

I'd read a very version of this tale on another post. Thank you for explaining the one thing I couldn't figure out: the blob on her finger. Your post had so much more meat than the other.

Christy said...

It is amazing what has been discovered by accident. Great post!

cj Schlottman said...

To be entertained and informed is the best of it! Thanks.

..............cj Schlottman

Jenny said...

Please, please excuse my rudeness in commenting so late Susan.

This was an Xstra fascinating stop on our journey through Alphabe-Thursday's Letter "X"!

There was so much information here that I did not know. And that hand x-ray was really neat!

Thank you for linking up!