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Since its accidental discovery in 1896 the x-ray has been an important tool in many different aspects X-rays are electromagnetic radiation ranging in wavelength from about 100 A to 001 A The shorter the wavelength of the x-ray the greater its energy and its penetrating power Longer wavelengths near the ultraviolet-ray band of the electromagnetic spectrum are known as soft x -rays The shorter wavelengths closer to and overlapping the gamma ray range are called hard x-rays The principal uses of x-rays are in the field of scientific research industry and medicine Recently there have been many new discoveries and advances in the use of x-rays in fields ranging from health to astronomy X-rays are an important tool in health diagnosis and treatment Within a few years of their discovery x-rays were being used to locate foreign bodies such as bullets within the human body High intensity x-rays capable of destroying tissue are used in the treatment of tumors Rapidly dividing cancerous cells are especially vulnerable to x-rays With the development of improved x-ray techniques radiographs revealed the smallest differences in tissues which resulted in the diagnosis of many pathological disorders Recently researchers have discovered the use of x-rays in breaking apart protein structures This technique can be both beneficial and detrimental By studying this more scientists could be able to discover ways to prevent radiation damage caused by natural sources X-rays are significant tools in the health field and as they are developed further the possibilities are endless Although x-rays are very helpful in medicinal purposes there are also some possible dangers The routine use of X-ray diagnosis has in fact been discouraged in past yearsby the American College of Radiology in 1982 for exampleas of questionable usefulness There have been numerous studies recently looking for a relationship between extensive x-ray radiation and increased cancer and heart disease possibilities There is still no solid evidence to prove this although researchers will continue
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