Precautions while using X Rays
Spectrum of the X rays emitted by an X ray tube with a rhodium target, operated at 60 kV. The smooth, continuous curve is due to bremsstrahlung, and the spikes are characteristic K lines for rhodium atoms. Since X rays are emitted by electrons, they can be generated by an X ray tube, a vacuum tube that uses a high voltage to accelerate the electrons released by a hot cathode to a high velocity. The high velocity electrons collide with a metal target, the anode, creating the X rays. In medical X ray tubes the target is usually tungsten or a more crack resistant alloy of rhenium (5%) and tungsten (95%), but sometimes molybdenum for more specialized applications, such as when softer X rays are needed as in mammography. In crystallography, a copper target is most common, with cobalt often being used when fluorescence from iron content in the sample might otherwise present a problem.