X-Rays - Medical Applications and Pixel Detectors

X-Ray unit

Description: Students operate an X-ray machine (35 keV) and study the absorption of X-rays in matter using a fluorescent screen and a pixel detector. 

Before taking part in this experiment, students should already know about

  • the properties of photons, especially the link between different photon energies and the electromagnetic spectrum
  • how X-rays machines work, Bremsstrahlung (optional)
  • semiconductor detectors (pixel detectors) and energy levels of electrons in atoms (optional)

What students will learn

  • how photons are absorbed in different materials
  • how radiographs are taken


Link to CERN physics: Pixel detectors are used in the tracking systems of  LHC experiments, such as ATLAS. They can precisely measure the track of an electrically charged particle. Within the Medipix collaboration at CERN, several applications of this technology have been studied, for example, in medical imaging.


Availability: Can be included in the S'Cool LAB Days at CERN itinerary.

Minimum age: 16

Recommended age: 16-19 

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