Methods to see "inside" things

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In summary, there are various methods that can be used to see inside things without actually opening them, such as X-rays, ultrasound, and other technologies like light, radio, gamma rays, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, when dealing with objects encapsulated in a metallic shell, X-rays would be the most effective method. Other potential methods could include sonar, thermal infrared, and sound waves. X-ray crystallography is a commonly used process for understanding unknown molecular structures and X-rays have practical applications in this regard.
  • #1
physior
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hello!

what are the available methods that we can see inside things? obviously non invasive, ie. without actually open an item to see its inside

there is obviously X-rays, ultrasound, but are there any other technologies?

thanks!
 
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  • #2
I would start by weighing the object. You can shake it and see if it rattles. Also not its center of gravity.
Of course, you can try to penetrate it with light, radio, xrays, gamma rays, etc. Either plane or CAT scans.
Checks its response to a magnetic field - changing or otherwise. MRI combines radio with magnetics.
You mentioned sonar - there's a wide variety of wavelengths.
 
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  • #4
Thanks but I had in mind something encapsulated in a metallic shell
 
  • #6
only xrays can penetrate metal and see the inside? no rayman, sonic, infrared, electromagnetic, etc?
 
  • #7
physior said:
only xrays can penetrate metal and see the inside? no rayman, sonic, infrared, electromagnetic, etc?
Sonar might work. Thermal infrared will tell you whether it is a heat source.
You can also warm it slowly and then let it cool to discover its thermal characteristics.
 
  • #9
X-rays would be the best method for understanding what's inside things a process known as X-ray crystallography is used when trying to understand what an unknown molecular structure looks like, not to mention x-rays are quite practical in terms of application.
 

1. How do X-ray machines work?

X-ray machines work by emitting high-energy electromagnetic radiation, which passes through the body and creates an image on a detector. The denser the material, the less radiation passes through, creating a contrast in the image.

2. What is the difference between MRI and CT scans?

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of soft tissues in the body, while CT (computed tomography) scans use X-rays to create images of bones and internal organs.

3. Can ultrasound be used to see inside bones?

No, ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of soft tissues, but cannot penetrate through bone. It is commonly used to visualize muscles, tendons, and organs.

4. How does a PET scan work?

PET (positron emission tomography) scans use a radioactive substance injected into the body, which emits positrons that are detected by a scanner. This allows for the visualization of metabolic and biochemical processes in the body.

5. Is there a way to see inside living cells?

Yes, techniques such as fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy can be used to visualize the internal structures of living cells. These methods use different types of light and electron beams to create images with high resolution.

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