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The Invention of the X-ray

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on 27 April 2015

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Transcript of The Invention of the X-ray

The first human x-ray
The image on the left is his wife's hand, clearly showing her wedding ring. This shows the difference from modern X-rays, where the bones show up white on a black background
Lucky accident?
Physics was a comparatively new subject at this time, with many people beginning to investigate and understand the existence of radiation rays, such as gamma rays, alpha rays and so on.
Working in his lab, Roentgen found that despite heavy coverings over the glass tube emitting light, an unidentified ray penetrated the covering and flouresced several feet away. After some experimentation, he discovered that these rays were able to penetrate some, but not other materials.
Who was he?
Doctors were able to diagnose fairly routine broken bones quite easily, using the patient's narrative and physical evidence.

Unfortunately, this was less likely if the injury was complicated by splintering or shrapnel, and as Britain spent much of it's time at war with one country or another, it was a particular problem on the battlefield.
Treatment for broken bones
pulling on the broken limb

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The X-ray Craze
In 1897, the first X-ray machines are used, and became readily available for paying customers as a novelty.
Introduction of radiology departments, and the use of X-rays as a method of diagnosis.

Transportable X-ray machines are used for the first time in the Boer War, and subsequent conflicts, such as the First World War.

Their use during wars meant bullets and shrapnel could be accurately located and removed from injured soldiers more easily. The new technology means potentially infectious foreign objects can be located and removed from a wound, reducing the need for amputation.

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen
How did physicians diagnose and treat before the X-Ray?
What happened after the invention of the X-Ray?
The Invention of the X-ray by Amanda and Nicola.
Wilhelm Roentgen was the son of a cloth merchant from the Rhine region of Germany, and attended Zurich Polytechnic before completing his doctorate and moving to the University of Wurtzburg, where he was when he made his discovery. He later became the first person to win a Nobel Prize for Physics.
successful if both limbs were of the same length
amputation if bone believed to be shattered
Treatment today
patient narrative
x-ray, mammograms etc.
general anesthetic for re-setting of bone
x-ray to ensure correct re-alignment
radiation to treat cancer
Opinions of the Times
+ discovery was a scientific bombshell
+ many scientists dropped other lines of research to pursue the mysterious rays
+ thousands of spectators lined up for first public demonstration
- skepticism from some - forced to have x-ray on stage to prove genuine
1895 - 1896
1904 - 1907
- death of Clarence Madison Dally
- Thomas Edison ceased all work on fluoroscope
- "I am afraid of x-rays. I stopped experimenting on them 2 years ago, when I came close to losing my eyesight"
+ level of exposure is considered safe for adults
- However, it is not considered safe for a developing foetus
Benefits of current x-ray machines
view an area where you are experiencing pain
monitor the progression of a disease, such as osteoporosis
see the effect of a treatment method
Some conditions that may call for an X-ray include:
blocked blood vessels
bone cancer
breast tumors
conditions affecting the lungs
digestive problems
enlarged heart
swallowed items
tooth decay
The invention of the x-ray not only revolutionised the scientific community but also improved the health and treatment of the entire population.
The increased knowledge of x-rays has led to the improvements of safety and a wider ability for diagnoses and treatments.
Ironically, radiation can not only cause cancer but can also be used to treat it!!!
"transformation of modern surgery by enabling the surgeon to detect the presence of foreign bodies" (January 16th, 1896)
Without the invention of the x-ray countless lives may have been lost.
Doctors had to poke around inside wounds or resort to gross amputations to ensure nothing had been left behind!
1895 - x-rays discovered

1896 - first use of x-rays

1914 - Marie Curie instrumental in bringing x-rays to front line

1946 - Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

1955 - Ultrasound for medical diagnosis

1957 - Fibre-optic endoscope developed

1958 - Ultrasound research published

1960 - First use of endoscope

1967 - CT scanning conceived

1970 - NMR cancer detection

1971 - First CT scan of patient's brain

1973 - First MRI images produced

1977 - First human MRI body scan

1980 - MRI in hospitals

1990 - Prenatal ultrasound becomes routine

“The use of the X-rays during the war saved the lives of many wounded men; it also saved many from long suffering and lasting infirmity.”
Marie Curie
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