Tech UPTechnology9 innovative applications of X-rays

9 innovative applications of X-rays

rayosxIn November 1895, the German physicistWilhelm Conrad Röntgenhe discovered a “mysterious ray” that had the power to produce an image after passing through flesh, clothing, wood or metal, and which he baptized with the unknown “X”. Since then the applications of X-rays have multiplied. In addition to growing his interest in medical diagnosis, this technology is used to control security at airports, study the quality of acorn-fed ham or find the “lost matter of the universe”. And there are even those who have found a way to use X-rays for artistic purposes.

Naked with clothes.At Manchester Airport in England, aX-ray scanner for passenger screeningthat allows you to detect weapons, drugs or explosives at a glance. The objective is to improve security systems at airports. The device is not without controversy, since its use could be understood as a violation of the right to privacy.

Genetics in action.UsingX-ray crystallography, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania (USA) obtained a few months ago the first image of the genetic processes that occurwithin every cell of the body.

X-ray telescopes.Using two X-ray telescopes, the Chandra Observatory (NASA) and the XMM-Newton (ESA), a team of astronomers has managed to find a huge reservoir of intergalactic gas located about 400 million light years from Earth, in which the “lost matter” of the Universe that scientists have been searching for years could be found.

Black leg.Computed tomography (CT), commonly referred to as a scan, is a medical diagnostic procedure that uses computer-assisted X-ray technology to create multiple cross-sectional images of the body, in the form of “slices”, which together provide a complete image in 3D. Regardless of its medical interest, this technology is also used to visualize theprocess of salting a piece of ham, as well as to analyze its ratio of meat and fat.

Taking care of the enviroment.X-ray spectroscopy is what engineers and chemists from the University of Delaware, in the United States, have used to developa technique that measures contamination in soil and water in just a few milliseconds.

Put the helmet on.The British Royal Air Force has developed a sophisticatedhelmet incorporating X-raysand allows its pilotssee through the walls of the plane. The device also incorporates an anti-noise device and assists the pilot in navigation.

Fossils in amber.At the European synchrotron facility in Grenoble (France), paleontologists are using the X-rays emitted by the particle accelerator to study pieces of amber from Spanish deposits with insects and arachnids trapped inside for more than 100 million years. . The technique allows them to see analyze the contents of their digestive tracts and know what they ate before being trapped, study what their brains were like and know if they were flying without damaging the fossil.

rayosx2 Archimedes recovered.In 2006, researchers at Stanford University used a technique called “X-ray fluorescence” (XRF) to reveal a series oftexts written by the Greek physicist and mathematician Archimedes, one of the most brilliant minds of antiquity, who had remained hidden under a series of images and texts for centuries.

Adhesive tape “X”.In 2008, in the Laboratory of Acoustics and Low Temperatures of the Physics department of the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), Juan Valentín Escobar and his colleagues discovered that whena roll of duct tape that we handle dailyit is detachedin vacuum, the amount of X-rays produced in 10 seconds is sufficient to obtain thex-ray of a human finger. The finding could lead to a cheaper method of producing X-rays.

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