General Course Information for RTT 410: Clinical Radiation Physics I

Course: RTT 410 - Clinical Radiation Physics I
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Description: Focus in on the characteristics and interactions of electromagnetic and particulate radiation. X-ray production, equipment, measurement and quality of radiation produced and radiation safety.
Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Differentiate between electromagnetic and particulate radiation.
  • Describe the process of ionization.
  • Calculate radioactivity, decay constant, activity and half-live, average life and attenuation requirements for commonly used isotopes used in Radiation Therapy.
  • Differentiate between artificially produced and naturally occurring therapeutic nuclides.
  • Identify the radioactive series and decay schemes for commonly used radiation therapy nuclides.
  • Describe the methods of artificial production of radionuclides.
  • Describe x-ray production for linear accelerators.
  • Differentiate between x-ray production from radiographic units and accelerators.
  • Compare the factors that influence x-ray production and output.
  • Describe the characteristics of the x-ray beam produced in the various equipment energy ranges used in therapy.
  • Discuss the function of all major components of a linear accelerator.
  • Discuss x-ray production in alternative therapy units (tomotherapy, rapid arc etc).
  • State the gamma energies for all of the commonly used radioactive sources used in therapy.
  • Explain the major influencing factors of proton beam attenuation.
  • Describe the parameters of narrow beam geometry used in the measurement of attenuation.
  • Calculate Half-Value Layer (HVL).
  • Explain charged particle interactions with matter, describing dose deposition, energy loss and shielding requirements.
  • Demonstrate use of the appropriate type of radiation detector for given clinical applications.
  • Calculate correction factors for chamber calibration.
  • Discuss protocols used for external beam calibration.
  • Calculate direction of scatter given the energy of the incident photon.
  • State the principles of radiation protection.
  • State the occupational and public recommended dose limits.
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
    • Demonstrate clinical competence in the areas of patient care, treatment, and simulation.
    • Demonstrate clinical competence in the areas of patient care, treatment, and simulation.
    • Demonstrate clinical competence in the areas of patient care, treatment, and simulation.
    • Demonstrate clinical competence in the areas of patient care, treatment, simulation, dosimetry and brachytherapy.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures