What is an X-ray?
X-rays penetrate the body to create a 2-dimensional image (picture).
Image: Milena Ugrinova/Shutterstock.com
X-rays are a type of radiation, similar to light and microwaves. However, unlike light, X-rays penetrate the body to create a 2-dimensional image (picture).
An X-ray machine is much like a camera, but it uses X-rays to expose the film. In the past, X-ray images were stored on hard film copy (similar to a photographic negative). Today, most X-ray images are digital files that can be stored on computers.
Contrast X-rays are a special type of X-ray where a dye is used to help show up a certain part of the body.