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    Home : Math Matters - A Brief Look at How Mathematics has Influenced Modern Life : Laser & Fiber Optics
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Health Technologies

Free Printed Poster
Using x-rays to peer into the human body was a major milestone in modern medicine. Wilhelm Röntgen (German ,1845-1923) discovered the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that he called “x-rays”. X-ray wavelengths range from 0.1 to 10 Angstroms compared to 4000 to 7000 Angstroms for visible light.

In its simplest form, the wave equation refers to a scalar quantity u that satisfies

where c is a fixed constant equal to the propagation speed of the wave.

Christiaan Huygens
(Dutch, 1629-1695)

first proposed the wave nature
of visible light.

Allan Cormack (South African, 1924-1998) laid the mathematical foundation behind what we know as the CAT scan (Computed Axial Tomography). The theory is based on the mathematical question, “can we reconstruct a body if we can compute all of the line integrals that pass through it?”.