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The Magazine

It’s the inside that counts


It’s the inside that counts
It was a discovery made by pure coincidence: the X-ray to make the invisible visible that was first discovered on this day in 1895 by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. Röntgen was testing if cathode rays could pass through glass when he noticed a glow coming from a nearby chemically coated screen. He dubbed the rays that caused this glow X-rays because of their unknown nature as he found that they penetrate human flesh while they do not penetrate higher-density substances such as bone and metal. He also found out that they can be photographed (one of his first pictures here).

X-rays were first used on a military battlefield to find bullets and broken bones inside patients. And although the invention made Röntgen win the very first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901; he remained modest and never tried to patent his discovery. Today, X-ray technology is widely used in medicine, material analysis and of course in airport security scanners.

But what if you put a car through a giant X-Ray machine? Several people have tried just that and British artist Nick Veasey is one of them. Nick uses five X-Ray machines in his an 800-square-foot studio with concrete walls of 30 inches thick. Inside here he takes his photographs of anything mechanical. Some examples can be seen here.

(Words editor, pictures Nick Veasey)

      

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