In 1895, William Roentgen, a German physicist discovered X rays.
X-raysare among the different forms of electromagnetic radiation, like radio waves, light and gamma radiation. Their wavelength is in the range of about 1 nm to 6 micrometer. Their main characteristic is their ability to pass through matter. X-rays are least affected by regular lenses unlike light and move in straight lines.
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Production of x-rays
X-rays are highly penetrating rays emanated by striking a metal target with high energy electrons.
Synchrotronradiation is an important source of X rays. X rays can be formed in anevacuated glass bulb, containing two electrodes—an anode made of heavymetal and a cathode. When a high voltage is passed between the electrodes, electron streams (cathode rays) are forced from the cathodeand produce X rays as they strike the anode.
X-raysare also formed when electrons make transitions among the lower atomicenergy levels of heavy elements. X-rays thus produced have definite energies. As their energies are determined by the atomic energy levels,they are called characteristic x-rays.
Range of X-rays wavelength
X-radiations(which are the collection of X-rays) are the form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays have a wavelength in the range of about 10 −7 to about 10 −15 meter or from less than a billionth of an inch to less than a trillionth of an inch; the corresponding frequency range is from3 × 10 16 Hz to about 3 × 10 19 Hz (1 Hz = 1 cps).
Theirwavelengths are shorter than UV rays and longer than gamma rays.X-raysranging from 0.12 to near about 12 keV (10 to 0.10nm wavelength) are classified as "soft" X-rays, and that of ranging from 12 to 120 keV (0.10 to 0.01nm wavelength) as the "hard" X-rays, which is due to the penetrating abilities.
Conclusion to x-ray wave length range
Wenow conclude that X rays are highly penetrating, invisible electromagnetic radiation having a significantly shorter wavelength than visible light. Within a short span of their discovery, X-rays werebeing used to image broken bones.