World Radiography Day is celebrated annually on November 8 – the day X-rays were discovered by Professor Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen in 1895. X-rays are a crucial form of medical diagnostic imaging, allowing doctors to detect many diseases and pathologies at an early stage quickly, painlessly, efficiently, and accurately.
Roentgen was conducting research in his laboratory at the University of Würzburg when he noticed a special glow of crystals next to his device. When the air in it was evacuated and a high voltage was connected, a fluorescent glow appeared. Roentgen then covered the tube with dark paper and observed that objects a few feet away were emitting an unusual green light. This glow was the discovery of a new type of rays – X-rays – that are able to pass through various obstacles and cast shadows on solid objects.
- Roentgen determined that X-rays freely pass through human tissues, but are not able to overcome bones and metal. This was demonstrated when he examined the hand of his wife, as the bones and the ring on her finger were clearly visible in the picture.
- The medical world was quick to embrace the discovery with optimism and enthusiasm, with many researchers abandoning their original research to focus on X-rays.
- Radiographs began to be used a month after the discovery, and during war, studies of wounded soldiers were conducted on the battlefield.
- X-rays are the best way to diagnose tuberculosis early, allowing doctors to clearly see blackouts and spots in the picture.
- Roentgen did not patent his invention, as he wanted it to be used by physicians around the world.
How to take part
Get tested, as it is the best way to prevent many diseases. Don’t wait for your body to signal a problem with pain. Learn more about the work of radiographers and radiologists, what protective equipment they use, and what equipment is used in the process. It is interesting to note that initially there was no protection, as the negative effects of radiation were not yet known.
When is World Radiography Day celebrated in 2023?
World Radiography Day is observed on November 8 each year.