For the discovery of a new radiation capable of high levels of penetration, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was awarded with the first Nobel Prize for physics in 1901. In 1895, in experiments with accelerated electrons, he had discovered radiationwith the ability to penetrate optically opaque objects, which he named X-rays. In this chapter, the generation of X-rays, photon–matter interaction, X-ray detection, and statistical properties of X-ray quanta will be described. However, the scope of this chapter is limited to physical principles that are relevant to computed tomography (CT). A more comprehensive description can be found in many physics text books, for example Demtröder (2000), and in overviews on radiological technology, for example Curry et al. (1990). One of the main reasons for the wide exploitation of Röntgen’s radiation was the simple equipment required for X-ray generation and detection. Nevertheless, the development of robust, high-power X-ray tubes that are optimized for use in CT, is ongoing.
KeywordsPair Production Compton Scattering Compute Tomography System Photoelectric Absorption Cesium Iodide
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