CT History

X-rays were accidentally discovered on November 8, 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (A German Physicist).   A week after this discovery, Röntgen took an X-ray photograph of his wife's hand.  This X-ray photograph shown below revealed his wife’s bones and wedding ring.  This newly discovered electromagnetic wave (invisible light) was given the name X-ray because in mathematics X represents the unknown.
 
CT Hand

 Throughout the centuries scientific exploits have harnessed the ability to use X-rays for medical advancements.  This brings us to the development of cross sectional imaging of the body.  CT was independently discovered by Dr. Alan Cormack (right below) and British engineer Sir Godfrey Hounsfield (left below), who were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in 1979 for their instrumental efforts in medicine. 

 

CT History

 

The first clinical scanners were dedicated to scanning the head (1974).  These scanners were quite slow and only provided minimal detail of anatomy.  Through the advancements in computer technology, CT scanners are now able to scan with less radiation and in less time, enough so that we can capture images of the beating heart.

 CT Scanners