Courses, Sequences, and Learning Outcomes

Typical focus areas in Medical Physics

There are several general areas of sub-specialization in the Medical Physics graduate program CAMPEP track. Students seeking a CAMPEP-compliant degree program satisfy, at a minimum, the Core Curriculum followed by more advanced courses focused on radiation therapy physics, imaging physics, or a hybrid program of study. There is also a health physics option, which also requires completion of the Core Curriculum, and emphasizes interactions of radiation with matter and radiation safety, particularly as it applies to radiation laboratories, hospital radiation safety, and the nuclear power industry. Finally, there is an option to “opt out” of the CAMPEP-compliant program of study by not taking the Core Curriculum. Students choosing the “opt out” option have more opportunity to define their own academic curriculum, but will not receive an attestation of completion of the CAMPEP-defined core curriculum upon completion of degree requirements. Details of each option are provided in the Student Handbook.

Structure of a two year course sequence

The courses in the CAMPEP curriculum track are taken over four semesters, each of which has a general theme (foundational, basic, or advanced instruction). A significant amount of tailoring is possible within this framework. The example courses listed below show the requirements and choices for the MS degree; additional requirements for the PhD are summarized at the end of this section. Please note that all course sequences must meet the requirements described in the official Medical Physics Student Handbook.

1st semester (Fall): Foundations in physics, math, biology, and ethics

This is a fixed set of courses taken by all students in their first semester. The goal of this semester is to teach concepts that span all areas of medical physics and to provide a solid foundation for all subsequent medical physics courses. Descriptions corresponding to course numbers are provided at the end of this section.

501, 573, 510, 701 (10 credits total) + 900 journal club (1 credit)

2nd semester (Spring): Basic medical physics courses

The 2nd semester covers basic imaging and radiotherapy oriented medical physics courses which build upon the foundational courses. Example topic areas include radiotherapy, x-ray/CT imaging, MRI, and ultrasound. Importantly, courses taken in this semester also prepare students for the advanced courses that they will take in the 3rd semester. Therefore students should consult their advisors before selecting courses for the 2nd semester.

580 (4 cr.) + two courses from: 566, 588, 574, 578 (6-8 cr. total) + 900 (1 cr.)

3rd semester (Fall): Advanced medical physics courses

In this semester, students may choose from a number of advanced courses in imaging and radiotherapy. Advanced courses are defined as electives at the 600 or 700 level (excepting required 671 courses). Normally one or two advanced courses aligned with the research interests of the student are selected. Example pairings of 2nd semester basic courses and 3rd semester advanced courses are: 580 (Imaging with Ionizing Radiation) & 777 (Computed Tomography), 566 (Radiotherapy) & 772 (Advanced Treatment Planning), 578 (Non-ionizing Diagnostic Imaging) & 710 (Advances in Magnetic Resonance). Students will also take certain basic medical physics courses in this semester.

1 advanced course (2-3 cr.) + 569, 671 anatomy/physiology, 581 lab (6 cr. total) + 900 (1 cr.) + 1 optional advanced or elective course

4th semester (Spring): Remaining required courses, electives, qualifier prep

In the 4th semester, students take any remaining courses in the CAMPEP core track. Generally, this will be the required spring courses that were not taken in the 2nd semester. Students may also take electives and/or advanced courses in this semester. Since the 4th semester is also the time when most students are preparing for their qualifier exam, a limited course load is advised.

Two remaining courses from: 566, 588, 574, 578 (6-8 cr. total) + 900 (1 cr.) + 1 optional advanced or elective course

An example course sequence is provided for reference.

Summary of MS degree coursework

  • 33 credits from the following core courses: 501, 510, 566, 569, 573, 574, 578, 580, 588, 701, 671 anatomy/physiology.
  • 1 credit from 581 lab (starting with class of 2021)
  • 4 credits of 900 journal club
  • 2-3 additional required credits from an advanced course in Medical Physics
  • Statistics is recommended for students.
  • A total of at least 40 credits for the MS degree.
  • To complete the MS degree, students must either pass the PhD Qualifier Examination or submit a written Masters thesis. Students who intend to continue and complete a PhD degree are required to pass the qualifier exam.

Summary of PhD degree coursework

  • To be considered for candidacy for the PhD degree, students must pass the PhD Qualifier Examination and complete all requirements for the MS degree. The student must also have demonstrated superior promise for research and be recommended for the PhD program by the research advisor.
  • Students must complete a total of 9 credits of advanced medical physics coursework prior to completion of the PhD. Three of these credits can be fulfilled with 600 level courses or higher taken outside the department.
  • 1 credit from 581 lab is required for all PhD students
  • A total of least 54 credits (300 level or higher) including those taken towards the MS degree. The credit total for the PhD can include research and independent study credits.

Trainees supported by the Radiological Sciences (T32) Training Grant have additional course requirements.

Course Descriptions and Learning Outcomes

Core courses

(Required)

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501 Radiation Physics and Dosimetry

Interactions and energy deposition by ionizing radiation in matter; concepts, quantities and units in radiological physics; principles and methods of radiation dosimetry. Three lectures and a discussion period each week. P: Calculus and Modern Physics.

Learning Objectives

  • Use the physics of microscopic structures of nucleus, nuclear decay, electronic structure of atoms to calculate nuclear decay lifespan and solid state energy band structure
  • Differentiate the concepts of macroscopic matters: Insulator, topological insulator, semi-conductor, conductor, and superconductor
  • Differentiate a radiation field from non-radiation field
  • Calculate radiation power spectrum for an accelerating charge particle under different physical conditions
  • Calculate cross-sections for the following interaction processes between photons and matter: Rayleigh scattering, photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, and pair production
  • Calculate scattering cross-section of Coulomb scattering and energy transfer cross-section in collisions processes and radiative energy loss processes
  • Calculate radiation dose for both external photon beams, neutron beams, and charged particle beams
  • Perform radiation dose measurements using ionization chambers
  • Apply the Bragg-Gray, Burlin, and Spencer-Attix cavity theories in clinical applications
  • Identify open research topics in radiation imaging, radiation therapy, and radiation protection fields (graduate students only)

573 Medical Image Science: Mathematics and Conceptual Foundations

The conceptual, mathematical and statistical aspects of imaging science, and a survey from this formal viewpoint of various medical imaging modalities, including filmscreen radiography, positron and x-ray computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging.

Learning Objectives

  • Summarize the utility of signal analysis in one and several dimensions
  • Identify and apply convolutions and Fourier Transforms in one and several dimensions
  • Illustrate the limitations of the Fourier transform, and recall the advantages of alternative signal analysis tools (eg: wavelet transform)
  • Identify and apply probability concepts to model the stochastic nature of image signals.
  • Calculate image signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR)
  • Evaluate image quality and diagnostic performance using statistical decision theory
  • Calculate the autocovariance and the noise power spectrum for different noise models (Grad only)

510 Fundamentals of Cellular, Molecular, & Radiation biology

Cellular, molecular, and radiation biology principles and their common application in medical physics.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore a new phenomenon or modality in the medical physics area and apply the knowledge gained to research in the field
  • Describe fundamental biomolecule and molecular biology principles and their common applications in medical physics
  • Describe fundamental cellular biology principles and their common applications in medical physics
  • Describe fundamental radiation biology principles and their applications in medical physics
  • Describe fundamental immunology principles and their applications in medical physics
  • Demonstrate an ability to integrate key fundamental principles of immunology and cellular, molecular, and radiation biology in medical physics applications in both imaging as well as therapy
  • Propose and discuss example medical physics applications of fundamental principles of immunology and cellular, molecular, and radiation biology

701 Ethics and the Responsible Conduct of Research and Practice of Medical Physics

Addresses the concepts of ethics in the daily practice of medical physics and other scientific disciplines and provide tools for identifying resources. Special emphasis will be placed in how these principles have to be applied to ensure the confidentiality of the patients, the safety of the research subjects (human and animals), differentiation between ethical and legal issues, as well as the understanding of the principles that deal with authorships, intellectual property in the academic- and industry- based environment.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand and discuss the rationale behind the ethical principles governing medical physics practice
  • Apply these principles to ensure the confidentiality of the patients, and the safety of the research subjects (human and animals).
  • Ensure proper and honest data collection and analysis
  • Identify and prevent conflict of interest
  • Discuss and define authorships, and basic intellectual property concepts for the academic- and industry- based environment.

566 Physics of Radiotherapy

Ionizing radiation use in radiation therapy to cause controlled biological effects in cancer patients. Physics of the interaction of the various radiation modalities with body-equivalent materials, and physical aspects of clinical applications; lecture and lab.

Learning Objectives

  • Give an oral, technical overview of ultrasound scanner operations, including relevant tissue properties involved in forming images, ultrasound transducer properties and types, signal processing, image frame rate limitations, and typical instrument controls.
  • Give a hands on demonstration that shows basic operation of a state of the art ultrasound scanner (GE Logiq E9 or Siemens Acuson Sequoia ). This will be done by scanning ultrasound QA phantoms.
  • Describe Doppler and color flow modes on an ultrasound scanner, and indicate technical factors needed to measure blood flow accurately using Doppler modes.
  • (Graduate credit) Demonstrate acquisition of pulsed Doppler signals in a flow phantom, including activating Doppler mode; setting up the Doppler beam line, range gate size and location, PRF, Doppler gain, angle correct adjustment, for 3 different flow velocities in a Doppler phantom.
  • Show how instrumentation settings affect gray scale imaging and Doppler data from selected sites in human subjects, such as the human carotid artery, the heart, or the abdomen.
  • Show the difference between cystic and solid lesions using phantoms.
  • (Graduate credit) Demonstrate image guided interventions using phantoms.
  • Complete the tests (ie, system set up and scanning) and report writing for basic quality assurance testing following American College of Radiology (ACR) and/or American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) guidelines.
  • (Graduate credit) Assess accuracy of shear wave speed measurements done on a clinical scanner applied to 2 phantoms having different shear moduli.

578 Non-Ionizing Diagnostic Imaging

Covers the physics associated with magnetic resonance imaging and diagnostic ultrasound emphasizing techniques employed in medical diagnostic imaging. Major MRI topics include: physics of MR, pulse sequences, hardware, imaging techniques, artifacts, and spectroscopic localization. Ultrasound based topics covered include: propagation of ultrasonic waves in biological tissues, principles of ultrasonic measuring and imaging instrumentation, design and use of currently available tools for performance evaluation of diagnostic instrumentation, and biological effects of ultrasound. Gain an understanding of the technical and scientific details of modern non-ionizing medical magnetic resonance and ultrasound devices and their use in diagnosing disease.

Learning Objectives

MRI Module

  • How the signals for MRI are generated, the sensitivity of these techniques to tissue variations
  • Spatial encoding methods for MRI and tradeoffs in imaging parameter and hardware selection
  • Identify and develop strategies to mitigate common artifacts
  • The application of the acquired knowledge to their own research projects

Ultrasound Module

  • The process of ultrasound image formation by means of understanding the propagation of acoustic waves through tissue
  • The different aspects that define the quality of the ultrasound images and the tradeoff with acoustic energy exposure and bioeffects
  • Common artifacts in ultrasound images and how they affect image interpretation
  • The application the knowledge to their own research projects

580 The Physics of Medical Imaging with Ionizing Radiation

This is a course on the physics and principles of medical imaging systems that form images using high energy photons. Such systems are divided into two categories: (1) those based on the transmission of x-rays through the human body, including radiography, mammography, fluoroscopy, and computed tomography (CT), and (2) those based on the emission of gamma rays following radioactive decay of an internal tracer, including the gamma camera, single photon emission tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET) and PET hybrid imaging systems. Emphasis is placed on understanding how physics, system design, and imaging technique determine image performance metrics such as contrast, signal-to-noise ratio, and spatial resolution. Clinical applications and radiation safety concepts are detailed for the different types of imaging systems.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the physical principles underlying imaging technologies used in radiology and nuclear medicine: radiography, mammography, fluoroscopy, computed tomography (CT), scintigraphy, single-photon emission tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET).
  • Describe each imaging modality in terms of a general imaging framework in which (i) a form of energy or probe is introduced to the body, (ii) a clinically interesting signal is generated within the body, and (iii) this signal is detected and spatially localized to form an image.
  • Apply physics and engineering concepts to understand how the design and operation of an imaging system determines the contrast, noise, and spatial resolution of the images produced by the system.
  • Differentiate the characteristics of radiotracers that make them suitable for research and clinical applications in human physiology.
  • Identify the defining strengths and limitations with utilizing the imaging modalities for conducting research investigations of human physiology and disease (graduate students only).

581 Laboratory for Medical Imaging with Ionizing Radiation

Presents concepts and principles on the physics of medical radiographic imaging systems, based on the transmission of x-rays. Emphasis is placed on understanding the operation of imaging equipment and how it is used in clinical applications. Evaluation of imaging systems, optimization of their use and design and the solution of image quality problems is investigated.

588 Radiation Production and Detection

This is a multidisciplinary course on the fundamental physics of radiation production and its detection with an emphasis on medical applications. Topics covered will include properties of radiation detectors, scintillator and semiconductor detector physics, linear accelerator beam production for therapy, cyclotron radionuclide production, and X-ray tube physics.

Learning Objectives

  • Achieve competence in experimental measurement methods of radiation dose (Both Grad & Undergrad)
  • Develop a functional understanding of the principles and operation of the major types of ionizing radiation detectors used in modern medical physics including ion chambers, scintillators, semiconductors, chemical detectors, and calorimeters. (Both Grad & Undergrad)
  • Apply fundamental atomic and nuclear physics and chemistry to radiation production using charged and neutral particles with accelerators and reactors, especially in the context of radionuclide production for diagnostic and therapeutic medical applications. (Both Grad & Undergrad)
  • Develop an understanding of the principles and operation of medical electron linear accelerators for radiation therapy. (Both Grad & Undergrad)
  • Apply physics and engineering concepts to understand the basic hardware configuration of an x-ray tube, the production of electrons by thermionic emission, the acceleration of electrons to a target material, and the physical interactions in the target resulting in x-rays. Learn mechanisms of heat transfer and heat management in the x-ray tube. (Both Grad & Undergrad)
  • Apply what has been learned to their current research project (Graduate Only)

574 Imaging in Medicine: Applications

Application of concepts to practical medical imaging problems and emerging quantitative imaging techniques. The focus is on applying the concepts learned in MP573 to multi-dimensional imaging problems, including image processing, measurement and modeling.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify various types of optimization problems (linear vs nonlinear, convex vs non-convex, etc)
  • Distinguish formulations from algorithms
  • Cast an image reconstruction problem as an optimization problem
  • Implement computational solutions to image reconstruction problems
  • Identify typical image transforms and deformations, cost functions, and optimization methods for rigid, affine, and deformable image registration
  • Apply basic processing methods for segmenting, encoding, and measuring digitized structures in images.
  • Understand basic machine learning principles and methods and their application (Grad only)

569 Health Physics and Biological Effects

Physical and biological aspects of the use of ionizing radiation in industrial and academic institutions; physical principles underlying shielding instrumentation, waste disposal; biological effects of low levels of ionizing radiation; lecture and lab.

Learning Objectives

  • Investigate theoretical concepts that are used in radiation safety practice.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of radiation safety practice considering theoretical, economic, political, and societal perspectives.
  • Consider the ethical consequences of radiation safety regulations.

671 Anatomy/Physiology

Advanced courses

(600 or 700 level electives)

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619 Microscopy of Life

Survey of state of the art microscopic, cellular and molecular imaging techniques, beginning with subcellular microscopy and finishing with whole animal imaging. One lecture and lab per week.

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate an understanding of common optical imaging approaches for biological research including their technical limitations. The student will be able to design optical experiments for studying dynamic biological events
  • Be able to explain principles of fluorescence
  • Gain familiarity with fundamental and challenges of image analysis
  • Gain experience with critiquing research papers on imaging techniques
  • Understand multiscale imaging from cell to organs to animals and what are key research and medical imaging methods to use for a given spatial and temporal scale

651 Methods for Neuroimaging Research

Provides a practical foundation for neuroimaging research studies with statistical image analysis. Specific imaging methods include functional BOLD MRI, structural MRI morphometry, and diffusion tensor imaging. Lectures and associated in-class computer exercises will cover the physics and methods of image acquisition, steps and tools for image analyses, the basis for statistical image analyses and interpretation of the results.

679 Radiation Physics Metrology

Principles and operation of ionizing radiation measuring equipment Basis of measurements and uncertainty analysis involved from primary standards to the clinic. The basis of traceable quantities for uniform measurements across the country and their implications are demonstrated including the reasons for their development. About 3 lectures per week with some lectures being replaced by laboratories.

Learning Objectives

  • Integrate the physics and operation of ionization chambers and electrometers
  • Integrate the physics and operation of other instruments used for dosimetry
  • Analyze and apply the luminescent process and its use in metrology
  • Evaluate and demonstrate principles of uncertainty involved in metrology

705 Women and Leadership: Science, Health and Engineeering

Multiple professional and scientific groups have identified the underrepresentation and lack of advancement of women in academia as a national workforce problem. Review evolving perspectives of leadership and how unconscious assumptions about the behaviors and traits of men, women, and leaders impede women’s advancement. Emphasizes the implications for women in the fields of science, health and engineering and explore the potential impact on the advancement of knowledge and improvements in health. Provides the opportunity to apply evidence-based perspectives using experiential methods.

Learning Objectives

  • Be conversant with several definitions and styles of leadership, as well as with research on how leadership and gender intersect/interact, particularly in an academic context.
  • Reflect on leadership and gender based on readings, discussion, and journaling.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of effective evidence-based leadership strategies.
  • Consider the integral link between women leaders and the advancement of women’s health.

710 Advances in Medical Magnetic Resonance

This course studies in some depth the theory and applications of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in medicine. The course aims to provide the student with the necessary theoretical background to understand advanced MRI techniques.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify and summarize the principles of MR signal generation, relaxation, echo generation, and spatial encoding.
  • Understand and apply concepts of advanced MR image reconstruction concepts including partial Fourier MRI, parallel MRI, non-Cartesian MRI, compressed sensing.
  • Use image processing methods for the analysis of MR images for biomarkers such as T1 and T2 mapping and metabolite maps.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about advanced MR applications used in the clinic and research including quantitative MRI, BOLD MRI (fMRI), MR Angiography with and without contrast MP 710 / BME 710 – Advances in Medical Magnetic Resonance agents, motion sensitive MRI, perfusion and diffusion MRI, PET-MRI, hyperpolarization, and spectroscopy.
  • Apply important concepts on sampling theory, signal-to-noise, artefacts, and pulse sequences to design protocols for MRI studies.
  • Demonstrate scientific communication skills for MRI research in oral presentations, written reports, and critiquing the work of others.

750 Biological Optical Microscopy

Covers several aspects of state-of-the-art biological and biophysical imaging with an emphasis on instrumentation, beginning with an overview of geometrical optics and optical and fluorescence microscopy. The bulk of the course will focus on advanced imaging techniques including nonlinear optical processes (multi-photon excitation, second harmonic generation, and stimulated Raman processes) and emerging super-resolution methods. Special emphasis will be given to current imaging literature and experimental design.

Learning Objectives

  • Provide a clear, concise oral presentation critiquing a paper in the literature.
  • Write a hypothesis driven research proposal and present an oral defense.
  • Write a critical written assessment of literature papers.
  • Use course concepts to better design experiments and extract quantitative information.
  • Articulate a fundamental understanding of the function of a microscope.

770 Advanced Brachytherapy Physics

The use of radioactive sources for radiotherapy including: materials used, source construction dosimetry theory and practical application, dosimetric systems, localization and reconstruction. The course covers low dose rate, high dose rate and permanently placed applications.

772 Advanced Radiation Treatment Planning

Physics of clinical, computer-based radiotherapy planning is taught. Topics include dose algorithms, measurement data, commissioning, contouring and volume definition, beam placement, modifiers and apertures and plan evaluation. Forward based and inverse planning (including IMRT optimization) are taught.

Learning Objectives

  • Design simple and intermediate forward-based photon and electron external beam plans using beam arrangements/energy, wedges and blocks intelligently with regards to underlying physics.
  • Create target and region at risk planning volumes, setup objectives for, and optimize, inverse planned intensity modulated plans
  • Evaluate dose distributions using a variety of metrics
  • Understand commissioning process and limitations including data requirements and beam model generation
  • Understand dose algorithms used in radiation therapy.

777 Principles of X-Ray Computed Tomography

This course aims to provide a basic and solid working knowledge of X-ray computed tomography (CT) for graduate students who are interested in principle and application of CT in Medical Physics. The course focuses on the physics of CT, system design, image artifacts, and recent advances in CT technology

778 Machine Learning in Ultrasound Imaging

Concepts and machine learning techniques for ultrasound beamforming for image formation and reconstruction to image analysis and interpretation will be presented. Key machine learning and deep learning concepts applied to beamforming, compressed sampling, speckle reduction, segmentation, photoacoustics, and elasticity imaging will be evaluated utilizing current peer-reviewed publications.

Learning Objectives

  • Critically read and evaluate peer-reviewed journal papers describing machine learning applications in ultrasound imaging.
  • Apply, implement and expand upon ideas from these publications to applications in ultrasound imaging.
  • Present the results of their critical evaluation and implementation to the class.
  • Write a research paper based on their findings suitable for publication.

780 Pharmacokinetic Modeling in Biomedical Imaging

This course will present the basic concepts and techniques of pharmacokinetic modeling. We will examine applications in various specialties, e.g. neurology and oncology, using different imaging modalities, e.g. PET and MRI.

BMI 826: Computational Optics and Imaging

Additional required

 

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900 Journal Club and Seminar

Provides medical physics graduate students with the opportunity to critically evaluate and report on published research and/or research seminar presentations by speakers, from both within the university and from the larger scientific community.

Learning Objectives

Students should become familiar with seminar topic by reviewing the abstract and information of the speaker. As appropriate review of papers associated with the seminar and the speaker.

Additional electives

(500 level)

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506 Monte Carlo Radiation Transport

Use of Monte Carlo technique for applications in nuclear engineering and medical physics. Major theory of Monte Carlo neutral particle transport is discussed. Standard Monte Carlo transport software is used for exercises and projects. Major emphasis is on analysis of real-world problems.

530 Medical Imaging Systems

The fundamentals of several engineering disciplines will be combined and applied to analyze the fascinating capabilities found in medical imaging. The course will demonstrate how “black box” analysis can describe the design and performance tradeoffs for diagnostic medical imaging equipment such as projection radiography, computerized tomography (CT), nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

535 Introduction to Energy-Tissue Interactions

Explore physical interactions between thermal, electromagnetic and acoustic energies and biological tissues with emphasis on therapeutic medical applications.

Rad Lab courses

(1 credit advanced labs)

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662 Rad Lab-Diagnostic Radiological Physics

Provides hands on experience using and testing radiographic, fluoroscopic and mammographic x-ray systems. Imaging requirements, image quality, and radiation dose aspects of each modality are covered, along with practical methods for evaluating the performance of clinical units.

663 Rad Lab-Nuclear Medicine Physics

Provides an introduction to the technical skills required in nuclear medicine physics. This will include laboratory rotations in basic radiopharmaceutical production and quality control, basic operation and quality control testing on PET and SPECT scanners, time series image analysis of radiotracer studies and nuclear medicine dosimetry and radiation safety training. The student will gain a firsthand understanding of the professional duties performed by a nuclear medicine medical physicist.

664 Rad Lab-Health Physics

Uses project-based learning (PBL) as a powerful teaching method to address common challenges and solutions addressed by medical health physicists. Each semester, students work on a different project that addresses concepts that are important in the current health physics environment.

665 Rad Lab-CT, MRI, and DSA Physics

Provides hands on experience using and testing computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) systems. Image quality, MRI and radiation safety, accreditation, and regulatory compliance issues with these modalities are also covered.

666 Rad Lab-Medical Ultrasound Physics

Introduces concepts and methodology for measuring acoustic properties of materials and for operating and performing physics tests of state of the art clinical ultrasound scanners. Students set up and operate a laboratory apparatus employing single element ultrasound transducers. This is followed by hands on experiments that challenge students to explain physical and engineering characteristics of clinical scanners, details of operator controls, features of Doppler and color flow modes, and resolution limitations. Practical scanning exercises provide familiarity with selected applications of clinical ultrasound equipment, both for diagnosis and for guiding interventions. Routine quality assurance tests done by medical physicists are also performed.

Open to undergraduates

(400 level and below)

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265 Introduction to Medical Physics

Primarily for premeds and other students in the medical and biological sciences. Applications of physics to medicine and medical instrumentation. Topics: biomechanics, sound and hearing, pressure and motion of fluids, heat and temperature, electricity and magnetism in the body, optics and the eye, biological effects of light, use of ionizing radiation in diagnosis and therapy, radiation safety, medical instrumentation. Two lectures with demonstrations per week.

Learning Objectives

  • Apply physics concepts, such as force, energy, and pressure, to the study of human physiology
  • Describe the relevance of physics concepts to the etiology of major disease, such as heart failure, sudden cardiac death, obstructive lung disease, and nerve conduction disorders
  • Explain the principles of medical imaging based on x-rays, gamma rays, sound, and other physical phenomena
  • Understand the principles of radiobiology that underlie radiation sickness and radiation therapy

410 Radiobiology

Effects of ionizing radiations of living cells and organisms, including physical, chemical, and physiological bases of radiation cytotoxicity, mutagenicity, and carcinogenesis; lecture and lab.