Physical Properties of X-rays
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Physical Properties of X-rays

Radiation Physics

Oral Radiology

Physical Properties of X-rays:

  1. X-rays belong to family of electromagnetic radiations having a wavelength between 10 A° to 0.01A°.
  2. They travel through space in a wave motion.
  3. In free space they travel in a straight line.
  4. They travel with same speed of that of visible light (i.e. 1,86,000 miles per second)
  5. As they travel through space, they can produce an electrical field at right angles to their path of propagation and a magnetic field right angle to the electric field
  6. They are invisible to the eye and cannot be heard or smelt.
  7. They cannot be focused by a lens.
  8. They cannot be reflected, refracted, or deflected by a magnet or electric field as they do not possess any charge.
  9. They show the properties of interference, diffraction and polarization , similar to that of visible light.
  10. They do not require a medium for propagation.
  11. X-rays are pure energy, no mass and they transfer energy from place to place in the form of quanta.
  12. In free space they obey the inverse square law, which states that "for a point source of radiation the intensity(I) at any given place varies inversely as the square of distance(d) from the source to the place at which the intensity is being considered." i.e.       
    I = 1/ d2
  13. Penetration: X-rays can penetrate liquids, solids and gases. The degree of penetration depends upon the quality of the X-ray beam and also on intensity and wavelength of X-ray beam.
  14. Absorption: X-rays are absorbed by matter, the absorption depends on the atomic structures of the matter and wavelength of X-ray
  15. Ionizing capability: X-rays interact with materials, they penetrate and cause ionization.
  16. Fluorescence: When X-rays fall upon certain materials, visible light is emitted called fluorescence.
  17. X-rays have the property of attenuation, absorption and scattering.
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