Ages 14-18: Educational Resources
X-rays and CT scanners
X-rays and Computed Tomography (CT) scanners are not considered nuclear technologies. However, these imaging techniques do use radiation technology.
The process of taking an X-ray involves the movement of electrons and protons through several filters until only X-ray beams remain. Those beams pass through the patient and onto a film plate, giving doctors a 2-dimensional view of what’s happening inside the body.
CT scanners are advanced machines that take images of the body. Patients are moved through the scanner as it rotates around their body. Instead of taking a picture on film, the X-ray beams are detected by delicate sensors, processed by a computer and displayed on a video screen, showing a 3-dimensional image of the body.
While X-ray machines are commonly used to see bones and joints, CT scanners provide an image of soft tissue and blood vessels.