radiologyHistory 400

History Radiology

radiologyHistory 400

Illustrated History of Radiology (X-Ray, CT, PET, MRI, Ultrasound)

By Brian Nett, PhD History

In this post we present a brief history of Radiology equipment focusing on the major developments which lead to x-ray Radiography, CT, SPECT, PET and Ultrasound imaging.

1880

Piezo-electric effect discovered
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Ultrasound Predecessor
French physict brothers Piere and Paul-Jacques Curie discovered that when pressure is put on certain crystals that electricity comes out. This effect is used on all modern ultrasound imaging systems.

1880
1895

X-Rays Discovered
Icon for X Ray Tube

X-Ray Imaging Predecessor
Rontgen discovered the unknown particles and hence called them x-rays as x typically is an unknown variable.

1895
1896

Radioactivity Discovered
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Nuc. Med. Predecessor
Becquerel, Marie Currie and Piere Currie discovered radioactivity, with a Uranium rock being the first demonstration of radioactive decay.

1896
1901

Nobel Prize Physics
rontgen

Discovery of X-rays
Rontgen given the first Nobel prize in physics for the discovery of X-rays.

1901
1903

Nobel Prize Physics
Marie Curie and Pierre Curie 256

Discovery of Radioactivity
Becquerel, Marie Currie and Piere Currie granted Nobel prize in physics for the discovery of radioactivity.

1903
1917

Ultrasound for Subs
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Ultrasound Imaging Predecessor
French physicist Paul Langevin uses ultrasound waves to detect submarines. Langevin had studied with Piere Currie and later was romantically involved with Marie Currie.

1917
1917

Math for CT invented
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Mathematical Background for CT imaging
Austrian mathematician Johann Radon publishes the mathematical background for projection based imaging used in early CT, PET, SPECT and the first MR imaging.

1917
1932

Positron Discovered
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PET imaging predecessor
Carl David Anderson discovers the positron which is the anti-particle of the electron and produces two photons via an annihilation event when a positron nears and electron.

1932
1935

First Radar
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Ultrasound predecessor
During the first world war British scientists Watson and Watt built the first practical RAdio Detection And Ranging (RADAR) system by observing reflections of electromagnetic waves in a similar manner to medical ultrasound later observing reflections of sound waves.

1935
1936

Nobel Prize Physics
Carl David Anderson 256

Discovery of the positron
Carl David Anderson wins the Nobel prize for discovering the positron.

1936
1938

NMR demonstrated
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MRI predecessor
American physicist Isidor Isaac Rabi demonstrates Nuclear Magnetic Resonance for the first time.

1938
1943

First Computer
colossus

Digital imaging predecessor
The first electronic digital computer named Colossus was built for the British Army in the second world war. It was oversee by Max Newman. This marked the beginning of the computing age which is a vital invention for all modern digital imaging including.

1943
1944

Nobel Prize Physics
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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
Isidor Isaac Rabi for the first experimental demonstration of the NMR effect in a molecular beam.

1944
1945

NMR demonstrated in solids
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MRI predecessor
Separate experiments by Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell demonstrated NMR in solid materials such as paraffin wax and water.

1945
1952

Nobel Prize Physics
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New methods in NMR
Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell demonstrated NMR in solid materials such as paraffin wax and water.

1952
1957

Gamma Camera Invented
Icon for SPECT

SPECT predecessor
Hal Anger develops the Gamma camera, also referred to as the Anger camera.

1957
1958

First use of ultrasound in obstetrics
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Scottish physician Ian Donald of the University of Glasgow demonstrated soft tissue imaging in the abdomen.

1958
1962

First Positron Tomography
Icon for PET Imaging

PET Predecessor
Sy Rankowitz and James Robertson of Brookhaven National lab invent the first transverse positron imaging device designed for the brain.

1962
1968

CT Invented
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British engineer Godfrey Hounsfield of EMI Laboratories and physicist Allan Cormack of Tufts University generated the first generation of CT scanner that would take hours to acquire an image.

1968
1972

MRI Invented
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The first MRI images were generated in a laboratory setting by Paul Lauterbur.

1972
1979

CT Nobel Prize
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British engineer Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack receive the Nobel prize for Computed Tomography.

1979
1998

First PET-CT scanner
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In a project lead by David Townsend and Ronald Nutt the first PET-CT scanner was build at Univeristy of Pittsburg Medical Center.

1998
2003

MRI Nobel Prize
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Paul Lauterbur for first developing a method to make 2D images and Peter Mansfield demonstrated the first human images. Mansfield himself was the first human scanned in an MRI machine.

2003

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