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see X rayX ray,
invisible, highly penetrating electromagnetic radiation of much shorter wavelength (higher frequency) than visible light. The wavelength range for X rays is from about 10−8 m to about 10−11
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a method for studying various objects, such as manufactured items and minerals, through the effect of the emissions of a radioisotope on photographic film. In radiography, external sources of ionizing radiation are used. These sources are specially produced radioisotopes placed in closed metal ampuls. In autoradiography, which is the main type of radiography, internal radiation sources are used; that is, the radioisotope is introduced into the object being studied (seeAUTORADIOGRAPHY).

If the ionizing radiation that penetrates an object registers on photographic material, the presence of areas of greater or lesser density can be discerned. This analysis derives from the uneven attenuation of radiation passing through areas free of defects as opposed to areas where defects are present. A photographic image, or shadowgraph, of the hidden defects is thus formed, which permits a determination of the shape and dimensions of these defects. In this way, radiography serves as a nondestructive technique for the quality control of cast, welded, soldered, and forged items and materials, that is, a technique for radioisotopic flaw detection.

X-ray films are most common for the purposes of radiography, whereas in autoradiography, various types of photographic materials are used. Among these materials are nuclear photographic emulsions, which permit the registering not only of the total effect, in the form of blackening, of the flux of ionizing particles on the film but also the effect of each individual particle. A chain of developed grains represents a trace, or track, of the particles on the film. The amount of radiation is measured using a characteristic curve found for each type of photographic emulsion and radiation, and the optical density of the photographic material is measured with such photometers as densitometers and microphotometers. A picture of the distribution of optical density is obtained by scanning the photographic image with the measurement aperture of a photometer. Regions of the object with a higher content of radioactive atoms correspond to regions of more intense blackening on the photographic image. This correspondence forms the basis for the radiographic study of the distribution of radioisotopes in solid objects.

The distribution of radioactive atoms in such microscopic objects as plant and animal cells and grains of metal is studied by using a microscope to examine the distribution of the particle tracks or individual developed grains of the photographic emulsion. The accuracy achieved in determining the location of isotopes in objects depends on such factors as the type and energy of the radiation, the thickness of the sample, the thickness of the film, and the distance between the sample and the photographic emulsion. Various radiographic techniques are available for different purposes. These techniques permit, for example, a detection of separate charged particles, a quantitative determination of radioactive atoms in separate regions of an object, and a measurement of the amount of ionizing radiation.


Radiografiia. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from English.)
Korobkov, V. I. Metodmakroavtoradiografii. Moscow, 1967.
Bruk, B. I. A vtoradiograficheskoe issledovanie metallov, primeniaemykh v sudostroenii. Leningrad, 1966.
Rogers, A. Avtoradiografiia. Moscow, 1972. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(graphic arts)
The technique of producing a photographic image of an opaque specimen by transmitting a beam of x-rays or γ-rays through it onto an adjacent photographic film; the image results from variations in thickness, density, and chemical composition of the specimen; used in medicine and industry.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


X-rays are used to create a shadow image of light and dark, which reveals any flaws or inclusions in a test piece.
The system of nondestructive testing (NDT) using X-rays or gamma rays to determine the condition of a part not visible without disassembly. Defects as discontinuities within the material show up in the density of the image of the film. X-ray inspection is used to examine the inside of the structure for corrosion or damage that deforms the structure. For detection of defects in small parts, gamma rays (cobalt-60; iridium-192) may be used.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


the production of radiographs of opaque objects for use in medicine, surgery, industry, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005