X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation capable of travelling through materials. X-ray technology is an invaluable tool in medicine, industry, scientific research, and security. For instance, it can be used to observe broken bones and swallowed objects, track blood flow in patients, and check for cavities. X-rays can also be used to diagnose cancer, kill bacteria in food, detect flaws in machinery or products, analyse the structure of crystals or distant stars, and scan baggage at airports.
X-rays are highly energetic and can cause the material through which it is passing to become charged, or ionized. Ionization can damage cells or DNA in living matter. However, used with caution, the benefits of x-rays far outweigh their risks.
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