Talk:Radiography

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Deletion or merge[edit]

I wonder what the response would be to a proposal to nominate this page for deletion (or merging with Medical radiography and replacement with a disambiguation page leading to Medical radiography and Industrial radiography. This seems to have been the original aim in 2006 and it is not clear why both this article and Medical radiography exist independently at this stage. Beevil (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 13:52, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

I agree. The components are the same regardless of being medical or industrial in nature. The split caused a lot of duplicate information. I performed the merge now from Medical radiographyto Radiography. There was a considerable amount of historical text in Medical radiography which seems to be duplicate from that in Radiography. Nevertheless, I paste it here in case anyone wants to check if there is anything more to add to Radiography from it. Mikael Häggström (talk) 18:51, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Radiography of knee in modern x-ray machine at Sandnessjøen Hospital, Norway

Radiography started in 1895 with the discovery of X-rays (later also called Röntgen rays after the man who first described their properties in rigorous detail), a type of electromagnetic radiation. Soon these found various applications, from helping to find shoes that fit, to the more lasting medical uses. X-rays were put to diagnostic use very early, before the dangers of ionising radiation were discovered. Initially, many groups of staff conducted radiography in hospitals, including physicists, photographers, doctors, nurses, and engineers. The medical speciality of radiology grew up around the new technology, and this lasted many years. When new diagnostic tests involving X-rays were developed, it was natural for the radiographers to be trained and adopt this new technology. This happened first with fluoroscopy, computed tomography (1960s), and mammography. Ultrasound (1970s) and magnetic resonance imaging (1980s) was added to the list of skills used by radiographers because they are also medical imaging, but these disciplines do not use ionising radiation or X-rays. Although a nonspecialist dictionary might define radiography quite narrowly as "taking X-ray images", this has only been part of the work of radiographers, and radiologists for a very long time. X-rays are also exploited by industrial radiographers in the field of nondestructive testing, where the newer technology of ultrasound is also used.

Unclear relationship[edit]

I removed the following section from the article, because it is almost completely unreferenced and doesn't seem to be within its own scope: It is titled "theory of X-ray attenuation" but then goes on to describe gamma radiation instead of X-rays. Also, the production of X-rays are described in more detail at X-ray generator, as linked clearly from the "Sources" section. Mikael Häggström (talk) 19:10, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Theory of X-ray attenuation[edit]

X-ray photons used for medical purposes are formed by an event involving an electron, while gamma ray photons are formed from an interaction with the nucleus of an atom.

  • Radiation Detection and Measurement 3rd Edition,

Glenn F. Knoll : Chapter 1, Page 1: John Wiley & Sons; 3rd Edition (26 January 21615461651: ISBN 0-471-07338-5

In general, medical radiography is done using X-rays formed in an X-ray tube. Nuclear medicine typically involves gamma rays.

The types of electromagnetic radiation of most interest to radiography are X-ray and gamma radiation. This radiation is much more energetic than the more familiar types such as radio waves and visible light. It is this relatively high energy which makes gamma rays useful in radiography but potentially hazardous to living organisms.

The radiation is produced by X-ray tubes, high energy X-ray equipment or natural radioactive elements, such as radium and radon, and artificially produced radioactive isotopes of elements, such as cobalt-60 and iridium-192. Electromagnetic radiation consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, but is generally depicted as a single sinusoidal wave. While in the past radium and radon have both been used for radiography, they have fallen out of use as they are radiotoxic alpha radiation emitters which are expensive; iridium-192 and cobalt-60 are far better photon sources. For further details see commonly used gamma-emitting isotopes.

Gamma rays are indirectly ionizing radiation. A gamma ray passes through matter until it undergoes an interaction with an atomic particle, usually an electron. During this interaction, energy is transferred from the gamma ray to the electron, which is a directly ionizing particle. As a result of this energy transfer, the electron is liberated from the atom and proceeds to ionize matter by colliding with other electrons along its path. Other times, the passing gamma ray interferes with the orbit of the electron, and slows it, releasing energy but not becoming dislodged. The atom is not ionised, and the gamma ray continues on, although at a lower energy. This energy released is usually heat or another, weaker photon, and causes biological harm as a radiation burn. The chain reaction caused by the initial dose of radiation can continue after exposure, much like a sunburn continues to damage skin even after one is out of direct sunlight.

For the range of energies commonly used in radiography, the interaction between gamma rays and electrons occurs in two ways. One effect takes place where all the gamma ray's energy is transmitted to an entire atom. The gamma ray no longer exists and an electron emerges from the atom with kinetic (motion in relation to force) energy almost equal to the gamma energy. This effect is predominant at low gamma energies and is known as the photoelectric effect. The other major effect occurs when a gamma ray interacts with an atomic electron, freeing it from the atom and imparting to it only a fraction of the gamma ray's kinetic energy. A secondary gamma ray with less energy (hence lower frequency) also emerges from the interaction. This effect predominates at higher gamma energies and is known as the Compton effect.

In both of these effects the emergent electrons lose their kinetic energy by ionizing surrounding atoms. The density of ions so generated is a measure of the energy delivered to the material by the gamma rays.

The most common means of measuring the variations in a beam of radiation is by observing its effect on a photographic film. This effect is the same as that of light, and the more intense the radiation is, the more it darkens, or exposes, the film. Other methods are in use, such as the ionizing effect measured electronically, its ability to discharge an electrostatically charged plate or to cause certain chemicals to fluoresce as in fluoroscopy.

Thanks for your edits to the article, Mikael Häggström. I agree with your removal as it distracts from the primary topic of the article.--Tom (LT) (talk) 04:34, 17 April 2017 (UTC)