When people think of x-rays, they initially think about bones. But when you take a closer look into this diagnostic imaging scan, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that takes internal images of the body by using a broad range of wavelength frequencies. Here’s some facts you probably didn’t know about x-rays that might even surprise you.

1.  X-rays were discovered in 1865.

Wilhelm Roentgen, a physics professor, was the inventor of the x-ray, making him the first to discover a way to peer inside the body without surgery.  He accidently discovered x-rays during while conducting an experiment. Roentgen received a Nobel Peace Prize in physics for his invention of the x-ray.

2.  The “X” in x-ray stands for “unknown”.

X-ray translates to “unknown beam or ray” in German. After initially inventing the x-ray, the name was fitting considering it was initially a mystery on how it would be used. Bonus Fact: X-ray can be spelt in a variety of ways including xray, X ray, X-ray, and x-ray.

3.  There are various types of x-rays and uses.

X-rays are not only used when identifying broken bones, fractures, and capturing dental images. A few X-rays uses include contrast x-rays, CT scans, dental x-rays, fluoroscopy, and mammograms.

4.  X-rays were once used for hair removal.

In the 1920s, people attempted to use x-rays to remove unwanted hair.  The FDA eventually banned this due to health concerns. Can you imagine that?

5.  X-rays have helped NASA see into space.

X-rays, the same type of radiation used in x-ray machines, was used in more than a dozen telescopes that were released in space. X-rays were used to give scientists a better insight to what is beyond our solar system and played an important role in understanding black holes and dark matter.

These are just a few amazing facts that show how x-rays have made their mark on history.  If you’re ever in need of an x-ray, we have you covered at Rosetta Radiology.