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Radiography Science in the New Millennium

It is stated by Mathews that as competitive pressures drive industry to enhance operating efficiency and product quality, ever increasing emphasis is going to be placed on test and inspection of critical assets to improve their performance and longevity. Filmless radiography is reported to be an enabler of this process, providing a faster, more accurate, safer, and a lower cost method to diagnose component integrity by direct imaging of its internal structure.

NASA (1998) reports that another major change in radiography that can be expected in the new millennium is increased use of neutron beam radiography. For example, at Cornell, students are using the 500-kilowatt nuclear reactor on campus to provide neutron-beam images to professors across a wide variety of disciplines. Indeed, neutron radiography can be used by individuals in disciplines from art history to zoology to get detailed pictures of phenomena which X-rays cannot produce.

In general, NASA (1998) states, the process involves producing a beam of neutrons that is focused to a plate holding a sample. Behind the sample is film. The neutrons pass through the film (unlike X-rays, without activating the emulsion), and land on a conversion screen (made of the rare-earth metal gadolinium) that absorbs them. The metal screen emits an electron for every neutron it absorbs, and that activates the emulsion and produces the photographic image on film.

The result looks like an X-ray, but it can reveal things X-rays cannot. An example: a toy plastic gun sealed in a 1-inch-thick lead box. The neutron radiograph shows details inside the gun, even its spring mechanism, but X-rays could not even penetrate the lead box.

Possible Changes/Expansions in Radiographers' Professional Roles

Hogg, Williams and Norton (1997) state that the new millennium will see a much expanded role for radiographers working in nuclear medicine--roles for which they may not be properly prepared. In...

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Radiography Science in the New Millennium. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:31, August 17, 2017, from
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