Components of an x-ray tube

Click on the "on" button located before the name of the components to see their functions

The x-ray tube in action

Similar to light, radio waves, and so forth; x-rays are electromagnetic waves


Properties of X-rays

  • have no charge
  • have no mass
  • travel at the speed of light
  • are invisible
  • cannot be felt
  • travel in a straight line
  • cannot be deflected by magnetic fields
  • penetrate all matter to some degree
  • cause certain substances to fluoresce
  • can expose photographic emulsions
  • can ionize atoms



Fundamentally, x-rays obey all the laws of light, but among heir special properties certain ones are of interest to Diagnostic Imaging


  • their extremely short wavelength enables them to penetrate body tissues
  • they cause certain substances to fluoresce, that is, to emit radiation in the longer wavelengths, visible and ultraviolet radiation
  • they affect photographic film producing a record that can be made visible by development
  • they cause biologic changes a fact that permits their use in therapy but also necessitates caution in using x-radiation

Dr Mariano Makara