X-rays have many practical uses.

X-rays are used in medicine
1. as a diagnostic tool
2.in the treatment of cancerous tumors.

x-rays have become very important to airport security.

Inspection of welds and castings

x-rays used in the car industry

Research Material Scientists use x-rays to understand the structure of materials.

X-ray Crystallography is an experimental technique that uses the fact that x-rays are diffracted by crystals.

Crystal structure can be explored using x-rays.

New uses of x-rays are developing all the time.

X-rays have many uses in areas such as

.....Medicine ...... Security ...... Industry .....Research ....


X-rays have two important uses in medicine

1. diagnosis
2. radiation therapy.

These are explored in depth at Medical Uses.


One consequence of the events of September 11, 2001, is that airport security measures are now being implemented that involve "full body x-ray scans." It is claimed that the x-rays used are low energy and relatively harmless.


X-rays are used in industry for many testing processes. Many industrial products are inspected routinely by means of x-rays so that defective products may be eliminated at the point of production.
Two important examples of x-ray imaging are
1. weld inspection
2. inspection of castings.
After steel pipes have been welded it's often important to inspect the weld to be sure that it's solid and leak free. Sometimes a weld that looks perfect to the eye has hollow spots or other flaws that can only be detected by x-rays. This inspection is done with high energy x-rays.
The manufacture of cars involves the extensive use of light alloy castings. A casting is a distinct metal part that is formed by pouring molten iron, steel, aluminum, zinc, titanium, magnesium, brass or bronze from virgin ingot or recycled materials in a mold. While only a few examples of metal castings may come to mind, in reality more than 100,000 products depend upon their existence. These castings need to be inspected to ensure that they are perfect. Inspection is increasingly being done using x-rays. In addition, the automobile industry is striving to manufacture lighter automobiles. This requirement makes it important to reduce the weight of the castings without compromising the structural integrity. To meet the market demands, major casting companies have installed fully automatic x-ray inspection systems to ensure the highest standards of structural quality are met.


The study of x-rays played a vital role in theoretical physics, especially in the development of quantum mechanics.
X-rays enabled physicists to confirm experimentally the theories of crystallography.

By using x-ray diffraction methods, crystalline substances may be identified and their structure determined.



For more on the role of x-rays in crystallography go to Diffraction.

Other uses

1. The detection of fake gems
2. Ultrasoft x-rays are used to determine the authenticity of works of art and for picture restoration.