The differential absorption of X rays in tissues and organs, owing to their atomic composition, is the basis for the various imaging methods used in diagnostic radiology. The principles in the production of X rays have remained the same since their discovery. However, much refinement has gone into the design of X ray tubes to achieve the performance required for today’s radiological examinations. In this chapter, an outline of the principles of X ray production and a characterization of the radiation output of X ray tubes will be given. The basic processes producing X rays are dealt with in Section 1.4.