Properties of X-Rays


Properties of X-Rays


  • Electrically neutral
  • Invisible
  • No mass
  • Travel in straight lines
  • Form a heterogeneous beam
  • Can penetrate tissue
  • Can be scattered or absorbed
  • Can cause fluorescence and scintillation
  • Cannot be optically focused
  • Can cause biological and chemical damage to tissue


  • No charge so can't be affected by a magnet or electrical field
  • Frequency is higher than is detectable by human retina
  • Create no resistance and can't produce force. Move @ speed of light
  • Form a divergent beam in which photon travels straight
  • Photons in beam have diff energies & max energy is kVp
  • Based on energy of x-ray, composition and thickness of tissue
  • Depends on energy of photon
  • Some substances produce light depending on composition
  • Lenses have no ability in focusing or refracting x-ray photons
  • Excitation and ionization of atoms comprising cells

Overall summary

Discovered in 1895 and the biologically damaging effects were discovered 3 years later. They were discovered in experiments dealing with electricity and vacuum tubes. They caused a barium platinocyanide plate to fluoresce. 


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