Scott Gruber's microblog

What do the Beatles and C-Scans have in common?

“Radiologists could suddenly use x-rays to see tumors, cysts, gray matter, white matter, and the fluid-filled cavities of the brain. Ironically, given that wave theory and Fourier analysis began with the study of music, at a key moment in the development of computerized tomography, music proved indispensable again. Hounsfield had his breakthrough ideas in the mid-1960s when he was working for a company called Electric and Musical Industries. He had first worked on EMI’s radar and guided weaponry, and then he turned his attention to developing Britain’s first all-transistor computer. After that smashing success, EMI decided to support Hounsfield and let him do whatever he wanted for his next project. At that time, EMI was flush with money and could afford to take risks. Their profits had doubled after they’d signed a band from Liverpool called the Beatles.”

— Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe by Steven Strogatz