Whole-body X-ray machine

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Since the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in 1895, "transillumination" has become one of the most important diagnostic tools in medicine.

X-rays are related to light. They simply have a much shorter wavelength and greater energy, which can be used to penetrate materials that are opaque to visible light. However, the high energy level also presents many risks, which can also be found in light: Think of sunburn from ultraviolet radiation. Relevant precautionary measures must therefore also be taken in the case of X-ray examinations.

The supply voltage for the X-ray tubes is generated by a high-voltage transformer. Unlike a light-bulb, the radiation does not come from a glowing wire but from a metal electrode. A highly-accelerated stream of electrons impacts against this. The X-rays then penetrate the patient and denser areas of the body, such as bones, are depicted as shadows on an illuminated screen. Doctors have to protect themselves and the non-irradiated areas of the patient with a lead apron. The strength and duration of the radiation is regulated at a control desk. Today's X-ray machines work using image intensifiers and significantly reduced dose rates. However, precautionary measures are still required.

Manufacturer: Koch & Sterzel, Dresden
Date of construction: around 1915



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