RAD1021 - Radiologic physics and radiation protection - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences


Dr Marcus Kitchen

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


A review of fundamental physics of concepts relevant to radiographic imaging. Units of measurement. Mechanics and heat. Atomic structure and electromagnetic radiation. Electricity, magnetism and electromagnetism. X-rays and their production. X-ray emission and interactions between x-rays and matter. Attenuation of x-rays and filters. Detection of X-rays. X-ray image formation. Introduction to computer-based imaging in medicine. Principles of radioactivity and nuclear transformation. Introduction to radiation therapy principles. Foundation principles of radiation protection together with statutory requirements.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the physical properties of atomic structure;
  2. Understand fundamental principles in mechanics and thermal physics that are relevant to the production and absorption of energy;
  3. Explain the physical laws of interaction of particles and waves, including the mechanisms for absorption and scattering of energy at the atomic level;
  4. Explain in quantitative terms the production of x-rays and the use of exposure factors that control x-ray intensity, penetration and dose;
  5. Use quantitative measures for the absorption of x-rays and to understand why and how x-ray absorption coefficients vary with energy and atomic number and relate these ideas to the sharp depiction of contrast changes in x-ray images of patients;
  6. Understand the effects of ionizing radiation on cellular matter and be able to explain the basic principles underlying radiation dose and radiation safety;
  7. Implement and evaluate appropriate radiation safety strategies and radiation protection measures in the context of diagnostic x-rays;
  8. Understand the fundamental principles of radiation therapy and the production and use of radiopharmaceutical products.


  • Mid-semester test (1 hour) (20%)
  • End-semester exam (2 hours) (50%) (Hurdle)
  • Laboratory experiments (20%)
  • Formal laboratory report (5%)
  • Assignment (5%)

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Entry to the BRadMedImag.


Must be enrolled in Bachelor of Radiography and Medical Imaging (Honours) or the Radiation Science stream of the Bachelor of Health Sciences.