You may not know it, but November 8th is the International Day Of Radiology. On this day in 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen accidentally discovered x-rays. The British Library tells the story of the serendipitous revelation.
Roentgen was exploring the path of electrical rays passing from an induction coil through a partially evacuated glass tube. Although the tube was covered in black paper and the room was completely dark, he noticed that a screen covered in fluorescent material was illuminated by the rays. He later realised that a number of objects could be penetrated by these rays, and that the projected image of his own hand showed a contrast between the opaque bones and the translucent flesh. He later used a photographic plate instead of a screen, and an image was captured. In this way an extraordinary discovery had been made: that the internal structures of the body could be made visible without the necessity of surgery.
At right, you can see the very first medical x-ray. It’s an image of Roentgen wife’s hand—including her massive wedding ring. The discovery earned Roentgen a Nobel Prize.
The International Day of Radiology was organized by a bunch of radiologists to raise awareness about how important radiology is. That may sound a bit self-aggrandizing, but medical imaging techniques really do save lives.
To celebrate this perhaps underappreciated holiday, General Electric scanned a bunch of random objects as part of their #SeeInsideIt campaign, and we are now sharing those images with you, because they're pretty awesome.
Happy IDoR, everybody! Above is an MRI of a pineapple, and the photo gallery is below.