Radiations in Biomedicine

Academic year
Subject Area
Biomedical Engineering
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

The theoretical lectures aim to demonstrate and explain concepts, methods and their applications. In these classes it is stimulated the understanding and integration of the acquired knowledge.
In the practical classes the students solve problems, individually or in small groups, in which they apply the knowledge acquired in the theoretical classes. The resolution of the problems and their results are discussed by all students together with the teacher.
In the laboratory classes, the students carry out laboratory experiments on phenomena and methods studied in the theoretical lectures.

Learning Outcomes

1- To acquire basic knowledge on Nuclear Physics, namely to know to characterize the nuclear decay modes and nuclear collisions and reactions kinematic and energetically.
2- To know to caracterize the processes of interaction of radiation with matter and the radiation detectors most used in Nuclear Medicine.
3- To acquire competences on solving problems (analytical and computationally) in the topics mentioned above (i.e. basic nuclear physics, processes of interaction of radiation with matter and radiation detection, in particular detectors for gamma radiation).
4- To carry out experiments of nuclear physics and radiation detection, in particular gamma-ray detection and spectroscopy, to analize, interpret and present the results.
5- To know how to write a report on the results of an experiment.

Work Placement(s)



I - Basic concepts of Nuclear Physics
1. Atomic nucleus.
2. Binding energy and the Weizsäcker formula.
3. Radioactive decay law.
4. Radioactivity: alpha, beta, gamma, electron capture and internal conversion decay; energetic aspects, partial and total half-lives
5. Collisions and nuclear reactions.

II - Radiação Ionizante
1. Sources: radioisotopes, X-ray tubes and sincrotron radiation
2. Interaction of ionizing radiation with matter
2.1. Energy loss of a heavy particle in matter: Bethe-Bloch expression
2.3. Energy loss of electrons - atomic collisions and bremstrahlung
2.4. Range of particles
2.3. Photon interactions
3. Radiation detectors.
3.1. Types of detectors and performance parameters
3.2. Ionizing chambers, proportional counters and Geiger counters
3.4. Scintillators and photodetectors. Gamma spectroscopy.

III- X-rays sources and their spectra

IV - Medical imaging techniques using ionizing radiation.

Assessment Methods

Continuous evaluation
Continuous evaluation: 100.0%


- Intermediate physics for medicine and biology, Russell K. Hobbie, 3rd ed, New York: Springer-Verlag, 2001.
- Keneth Krane, "Modern Physics", John-Wiley &Sons, New-York 1996 (2nd ed.)
- Herman Cember, Introduction to Health Physics, McGraw Hill, NY. 2009 (4th ed)
- Medical imaging physics, Hendee WR e Ritenou ER , Wiley-Liss, NY (4th ed., 2002)
- Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, B.H. Brown et al., IOP 1999.
- Ervin B. Podgorsak, "Radiation Physics for Medical Physicists", Springer (2005)