CT Scan

Godfrey Hounsfield 1975

Godfrey Hounsfield
Godfrey Hounsfield
Born28 August 1919
Died12 August 2004 | Age 84

The first CT Scan was performed at Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon, London, in 1975.

Godfrey Hounsfield was born in Sutton-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England. He perfected the Computed Axial Tomography scanner, CAT scan for short.

He worked for EMI and became interested in computers. In 1958, he helped design the first commercially available all-transistor computer made in Great Britain, the EMIDEC 1100.

With the success of the Beatles EMI had money to invest and asked Hounsfield to come up with a new area of research. He came up with the idea that one could determine what was inside a box by taking X-ray readings at all angles around the object. Godfrey thought he could use a computer to take images from X-rays at various angles and create a 3d image of the object.


Hounsfield started with a prototype head scanner. He experimented on a preserved brain and the results were encouraging. He then used it on a cow brain from a butcher shop, eventually Godfrey scanned his own brain. The medical world, and EMI, were now excited at the potential of this new technology.
A modern CT Scanner
A modern CT Scanner

On 1 October 1971, CT scanning was used on a patient with a cerebral cyst.

In 1975, Hounsfield built a whole-body scanner.


  • 1979. Hounsfield and Cormack received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • 1976. He was appointed Commander of the British Empire, CBE.
  • 1981. Knighted becoming Sir Godfrey Hounsfield.
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Prevalence:Hounsfield, Godfrey, 1975, scanner, brain, Scan