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Industrial Radiographers

History

During the 1880s and 1890s, scientists researching naturally occurring chemical elements began to suspect that certain elements radiated special forms of energy, either spontaneously or under the influence of specific stimuli. Early investigators included Wilhelm Roentgen, who discovered X-rays in 1895; Henri Becquerel, who discovered radioactivity in uranium in 1896; and Pierre and Marie Curie, who discovered polonium and radium.

During the 20th century, investigation into the nature of radiation led to various successful applications in many areas. Almost as soon as X-rays were discovered, medical researchers began exploring their usefulness as a diagnostic tool, and as early as World War I, this new technology was widely used for locating bullets in wounded soldiers. In the 1940s, industrial applications, such as gamma ray and X-ray inspection, were developed in the nondestructive testing field. Currently in the industry, radiology includes tomography, backscatter, gauging, and other radiation inspection methods.

From its earliest years, radiological technology has relied on skilled assistants both in the research and development field and in industries such as aerospace, construction, and petrochemicals. Today, as radiation technology is brought to a wider range of applications, qualified industrial radiological technicians are sought after in the nondestructive testing field.

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