Sunday, November 7, 2010

115th Anniversary of the discovery of X-rays

Google celebrates the 115th anniversary of the discovery of x-rays...
Google has released a new doodle today on the Australian site celebrating the 115th anniversary of the x-ray which depicts an x-ray image of Google’s world famous logo.

X-Rays are a form of x-radiation composed of rays and their discovery was credited to the German scientist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in 1895. Their most common use is in crystallography and diagnostic radiography where hard x-rays are used to penetrate solid objects in order to view their insides.

Hospitals, dentists and vets use x-rays regularly to study things such as breaks in bones and damage to tooth structure by decay or other means.
X-rays have a longer wavelength than the more commonly known Gamma rays, a form of radiation given a wider audience thanks to the Incredible Hulk’s alter-ego Bruce Banner. In the comic book Banner believed gamma radiation would imbue him with greater strength but the experiment went horribly wrong and he became a rampaging green beast (with stretchy pants).

All forms of radiation can be dangerous and extreme exposure can lead to death, skin cancer and organ failure, sickness and internal bleeding. X-Rays are however a relatively minor dose and are as such not a significant threat to the subject’s health.

It is stated that exposure to radiation by a father closely prior to the time of conception can cause his child to be born with leukaemia, whereas x-ray investigation in pregnant women is more likely to increase the risk to the unborn child than the mother.

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