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 Matter and its Composition
 Radiation and its Nature
 X-Ray Machine
 Production of X-Ray
 Factors controlling X-Ray Beam
 Interactions of X-ray with matter
 Dosimetry
“MATTER is anything that has mass and
occupies space”
 ATOM, is the fundamental unit of matter and
cannot be divided by chemical methods
although they may be composed of many
smaller (subatomic) particles
 Bohr’s Atomic Model -

Atom as a miniature solar system with nucleus at its center and

revolving electrons
 Standard Model
1. According to the standard model, there are
12 fundamental particles.


Quarks Leptons
 Quantum Mechanical Model of Atom
( Erwin Schrodinger in 1926)
1. The concept of electrons encircling around
orbits was replaced by a concept of
electrons existing in three dimensional
volumes called ‘orbitals’
 It is also known as the IONISATION ENERGY
 It is the amount of energy required to remove
an electron from a given orbital to exceed the
electrostatic force of attraction between it
and the nucleus.
 Electrons in 1s orbital has the highest energy
since its closest to the nucleus.
 Energy decreases in each successively larger
“Radiation is the transmission of energy
through space and matter”
 Types of Radiation-
 If an electrically neutral atom
loses its one of the electron, the
nucleus becomes a positive ion
and the free electron a negative
 The energy required to remove
an electron from its orbital is
termed as IONISATION.
 Ionizing radiation can be defined as radiation
that is capable of producing ions by removing
or adding an electron to an atom.
 Ionizing radiation can be classified into two
1. Particulate radiation
2. Electromagnetic radiation.
 Small atoms-Protons+Neutrons
 Larger atoms-Neutrons>Protons

Unstable and break


Alpha and beta particles or gamma rays

 Alpha particles are helium nuclei consisting
of two protons and two neutrons.
 Beta particles are identical to electrons , they
are able to penetrate matter to a great depth
than alpha particle.
 Gamma rays are photons , a form of
electromagnetic radiation.
 The rate of loss of a particle as it moves
through matter is linear energy transfer.
 A particle lose kinetic energy each time it
ionizes adjacent matter.
 The greater is physical size and charge and
lower its velocity , the greater is LET.
 Electromagnetic radiation is the movement
of energy through a space as a combination
of electric and magnetic fields.
 It is generated when velocity of electrically
charged particle is altered.
 Quantum theory considers electromagnetic
radiation as small bundle of energy called
photon which travel at speed of light and
contain specific energy.
 Relationship between wavelength and
photon energy-
 An X-ray is a beam of energy that has the
power to penetrate substances and record
image shadows on photographic film.
 The primary components of an x-ray are
1. The X-ray tube
2. Power supply.
 It is composed of a cathode and an anode
situated within an evacuated glass envelope
or tube.
 For a x-ray to function, a power supply is
necessary to-
1. Heat the cathode filament to generate
2. Establish a high voltage potential b/w anode
and cathode.
 The cathode in a x-ray tube consists of a
filament and a focusing cup.
 Filament is source of electrons within x-ray
tube , it is a coil of tungsten wire about 2mm
in diameter and 1cm or less in length.
 Filament lies in a focusing cup , a negatively
charged concave reflector made of
 Anode consists of a tungsten target
embedded in a copper stem.
 The purpose of target in an x-ray tube is to
convert the kinetic energy of colliding
electrons into x-ray photons.
 Tungsten is used due to
1. High atomic number
2. High melting point
3. High thermal conductivity and low vapor
 Focal spot is the area on the target to which
the focusing cup directs the electrons and
from which x-ray are produced.
 The primary function of the power supply is
1. To provide a low voltage current to heat the
x-ray tube filament
2. Generate a high potential difference
between cathode and anode.

Tube Tube
current voltage
 Tube current(mA)-
It is the flow of electrons through the tube
;that is , from the cathode filament , across
the tube to the anode , then back to the
 Tube voltage(kVP)
1. A high voltage is required between the
anode and cathode to give electrons
sufficient energy to generate x-rays.
2. actual voltage used on an x-ray machine is
adjusted with the autotransformer , by using
the kilovolt peak(kVp) selector the operator
adjusts the autotransformer and converts
the primary voltage into desired voltage.
 Timer – a timer is built into high-voltage
circuit to control the duration of x-ray
1. Controls length of time that high voltage is
applied to tube.
2. The number of impulses divided by 60 gives
the exposure time in seconds.
 Tube rating and Duty cycle-
1. Each x-ray comes with a tube rating chart
that describe longest exposure time the
tube can be energized for a range of
voltages(kVp) and tube current(mA) without
risk of overheating.
2. Duty cycle relates to the frequency with
which successive exposures can be made ,
interval between successive exposure must
be long enough for heat dissipation.

Bremsstrahlung Characteristic
radiation radiation
 The sudden stopping or slowing of high
speed electrons by tungsten nuclei produces
these type of radiation.
 The electron is attracted towards the
positively charged nuclei

Path gets altered, loses its velocity and kinetic


This kinetic energy is given as many photons

 This occurs when an incident electron ejects
an inner electron from the tungsten target.
 When this happens, an electron from the
outer orbital is quickly attracted to the void in
the deficient inner orbital.
 A photon gets emitted with energy
equivalent to the difference in the two orbital
binding energies.
Exposure time

Tube current

Tube voltage



 Changing the time controls the duration of
exposure and thus the number of photons

Exposure time α No. of photons

(Photon energies remain unchanged)
 Number of photons generated α Tube
 Quantity of radiation produced= Tube
current x Time (If the product remains
constant, the quantity produced
remains constant)
 Increasing the kVp increases the potential
difference between cathode and anode, thus
increasing the energy of each electron when
it strikes the target.
 Thus, there is increase in photons generated ,
mean energy and maximal energy
External X-ray beam contains spectrum
of electrons with different
filtration energies
Photons with sufficient energy
penetrate the anatomic
Low energy photons that
cannot reach receptor

Exposure risk

These are removed by placing

and aluminum filter
 Inherent filtration-
 Materials that x-ray photons encounter as
they travel from the focal spot on the taregt
to form the usable beam outside the tube
enclosure (glass wall of x-ray tube, insulating
 A collimator is a metallic barrier with an
aperture in the middle
 Reduces size of the x-ray beam and thereby
the volume of radiation
 The intensity of x-ray beam depends on the
distance of measuring device from the focal
 No interaction
 Coherent Scattering(Thompson
 Photoelectric absorption
 Compton scattering
 “Determining the quantity of radiation
exposure or dose is termed as dosimetry”
 The term dose is used to describe the amount
of energy absorbed per unit mass at the site
of interest
 Oral Radiology ; Principles and
Interpretation, White, Stuart.C and Pharoah
Michael J.