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An X-ray generator is a device used to generate X-rays. These devices are commonly used by radiographers to acquire an x-ray image of the inside of an object (as in medicine or non-destructive testing) but they are also used in sterilization or fluorescence

The two main fields in which x-ray machines are used in medicine are radiography and fluoroscopy.

Radiography is used for fast, highly penetrating images, and is usually used in areas with a high bone content. Some forms of radiography include:

Radiotherapy — the use of x-ray radiation to treat malignant cancer cells, a non-imaging application

Fluoroscopy is used in cases where real-time visualization is necessary (and is most commonly encountered in everyday life at airport security). Some medical applications of fluoroscopy include:

X-rays are highly penetrating, ionizing radiation, therefore X-ray machines are used to take pictures of dense tissues such as bones and teeth. This is because bones absorb the radiation more than the less dense soft tissue. X-rays from a source pass through the body and onto a photographic cassette. Areas where radiation is absorbed show up as lighter shades of grey (closer to white). This can be used to diagnose broken or fractured bones. In fluoroscopy, imaging of the digestive tract is done with the help of a radiocontrast agent such as barium sulfate, which is opaque to X-rays.

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