MRTY 1031 Medical Radiation Physics

This Unit of Study at Junior level is designed specifically for students enrolled in the
Bachelor of Applied Science (MRS) Diagnostic Radiography
to provide basic knowledge and understanding of concepts in physics relevant to the use of ionising radiation in medicine - specifically X-rays. It will present an examination of the structure of matter, types of ionising radiation and their interactions with matter, all within the context of medical imaging and therapy. It is presented by staff from the School of Physics (in the Faculty of Science) and from Medical and Radiation Sciences (in the Faculty of Health Sciences).

This Unit of Study will give students an understanding of:

  • the origins and properties of radiation
  • the production of radiation, particularly in x-ray tubes
  • the effects of radiation on tissue
  • the use of radiation in diagnostic imaging

The lecture course will be built around three themes:

  • How do we make X-rays?
  • X-rays in the body
  • X-ray imaging

Concepts of physics covered will include: waves and EM radiation - in particular X-rays; atomic structure; basic EM theory and circuits; semiconductors. The laboratory component of the unit will provide some practical experience in these concepts. These ideas will be applied to X-rays and X-ray imaging concepts such as scattering, attenuation, absorption and detection.

Assumed knowledge for entry to this unit is HSC Physics and 2 unit Maths (or their equivalent). Students without the assumed knowledge are strongly advised to enrol in the Mathematics Bridging Course and the Physics Bridging Course offered prior to the commencement of Semester 1.


John Ball, Adrian D. Moore and Steve Turner,Essential Physics for Radiographers, 4th Edition (2008), Blackwell Publishing

More Information

More details of all aspects of Medical Radiation Physics can be found in the Unit of Study Outline. See also the Unit Timetable.

Resources provided for Medical Radiation Physics include lecture notes, assignment solutions and a sample exam paper are all accessible for enrolled students from the Sydney eLearning pages. Access requires a Unikey Username and Password that is issued with your confirmation of enrolment.

For further information contact the Physics Student Office, Room 210 in the Physics building (phone 9351 3037), or contact the . For advice on 'Where to go for Help' in any aspect of your course, and other useful links, see the Junior Physics Resources and Links Page and the Junior Physics Web Page.