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A brief consideration of some of the fundamental principles underlying the use of the x-ray in diagnosis is somewhat necessary for a full understanding of the reasons for the superiority of this method over the one commonly in use.
The x-ray or Roentgen ray is a form of energy originating at the target of a Crookes vacuum tube, generated by the impact of energy from the negative terminal or the cathode. This energy proceeds divergently from its point of origin; it becomes feebler with increasing distance of travel, and it can not be refracted nor reflected from its course. It is said by some that a "diffusion" of rays takes place when passing through bodies of certain density or thickness, but I do not fully subscribe to this; the diffusion of the rays is said to be the cause of lack of clearness in skiagrams of thick parts.
STOVER GH. AN IMPROVED X-RAY FOR THE STUDY OF BONE INJURIES AND FOREIGN BODIES. JAMA. 1905;XLIV(12):929–932. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.92500390013001b
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