How does an X-ray work?

If you’ve ever broken a bone then you’ve probably had an x-ray, but how are these images of our insides made? Find the answer with our latest video!

X-rays are a form of light with a much higher frequency than the colours that we can normally see. In the X-ray tube, a high-voltage part called the cathode emits electrons at a rather high speed into another part called the anode. This torrent of electrons releases X-rays with many different frequencies. These rays travel far more easily through the soft tissue of our bodies than they do through the denser bones. On the receiving end there is a photographic plate, or an electronic detector, that can capture the resulting image, ready for viewing by a nurse or doctor.

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Plus, take a look at:

Inside an X-ray machine

What are the dangers of X-rays?

The How It Works Book of the Human Body