How Does the X-ray Tube Operate?

When the x-ray tube is turned on, the low voltage circuit is activated to preheat the filament to a specific temperature to generate electrons through thermionic emission. The number of electrons generated is proportional to the temperature of the filament.1,5,10,11 When the timer is activated, the high voltage circuit is also activated and the electrons at the filament will start travelling at high speed towards the target. The higher is the voltage between the cathode and the anode the faster will the electrons travel.6,7,9,11,12 The number of electrons travelling from the cathode to the anode is called the tube current.7,9 The maximum energy output of the x-ray tube is called the kilo volt peak or kVp.1,2,3,4

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