'Jedi' helmet for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, 1984.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Used by Ian Young at the Hammersmith Hospital as an experimental device to get the best posible pictures of a child's brain. The helmets are named after and resemble those used for training by apprentice Jedi knights in the 'Star Wars' films; this name was chosen to encourage children to put them on. The coils on the helmet are 'aerials' for picking up MRI signals. MRI builds up pictures from the magnetic behaviour of water molecules inside the body. It is used to diagnose diseases and injuries affecting the brain, nerves, bones, muscles and internal organs, especially the liver.