Wilhelm Roentgen stumbled upon the potential of X-rays while tinkering with cathode instruments in 1895. The German physicist placed different objects in front of them to measure their reactions in front of a photographic plate that can record images.
Roentgen wanted to know what his wife's hand would look like when exposed to the mysterious rays. Lo and behold, the plate produced an image of her bones and flesh, much like what we see today in medical X-rays. The ability to create images within the human body was revolutionary, Nobel Prize-worthy work.
Today, X-rays are used in a variety of places, ranging from dentist and doctors' offices to safety checkpoints at airports. Although the medical scans help doctors and patients around the world monitor injuries and conditions, they also have a downside: radiation.
As we'll discuss, X-rays emit a type of radiation that can be harmful to humans if the intensity is too high or the exposure is too frequent. In this article, we'll explore the risks and benefits of using this tool to reveal valuable information about ourselves and the universe.
But first, we'll look at the dual personality of X-rays and why they can be both helpful and harmful. Read on to find out more.