The X-ray tube is an amazing piece of equipment and required a wide range of technologies to come into existence including: glass blowing, vacuum technology, metallurgy, knowledge of electricity and electrical currents, batteries and static electricity, photography, and fluorescence.
Michael Faraday had made major discoveries in electricity, and there developed a widespread interest in passing currents across fluids held in various vessels. William Crookes devised such a glass vessel, and it was using this that Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered the new rays. Tubes specifically designed for radiography were subsequently developed, the gas or ion tubes. The major development was made by William Coolidge who devised the modern hot cathode vacuum tube on which all modern tubes are based. The story is interesting and the dramatic birth and growth of radiology will be described.
Dr Adrian Thomas
Visiting Professor at Canterbury Christ Church University; Honorary Historian of BIR
1 CPD credit
BIR member free