Clinical Radiation Physics I

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.

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.


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