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Biomedical Imaging: Principles and Applications by Reiner Salzer

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Chapter 3

X-Ray Imaging

Volker Hietschold and “Carl Gustav Carus”

Department of Radiology, University Hospital, Dresden, Germany

3.1 Basics

3.1.1 History

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was born in Lennep (nowadays a part of Remscheid/Germany) in 1845 and grew up in Apeldoorn (Holland). From 1865 to 1868 he studied mechanical engineering in Zürich, and in 1870 moved to Würzburg. After employment in Straßburg, Hohenheim, and Gießen, he was offered a professorship in Würzburg in 1888, and in 1893 he was elected as the rector of the University of Würzburg. His primary experiments were with cathode rays, which he had studied since 1894. On November 8, 1895, late in the evening, he happened to notice that a barium-platine-cyanuere coated screen fluoresced each time he switched on the cathode ray tube (a Hittorf-Crooke tube). This fortunate observation allowed him to reach the conclusion that the radiation responsible for the fluorescence must be able to penetrate opaque materials. About six weeks later, on December 22, he took the famous X-ray of his wife Bertha's hand (Leicht, 1994; Schedel, 1995). Röntgen termed this “unknown radiation” he had discovered “X-Strahlen” (X-rays). Although this terminology was kept unchanged by the English-speaking world, the radiation is called UnFigure in German and UnFigure (rentgenovskoe ...

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