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Medical Physics by Mind Map: Medical Physics
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Medical Physics


10^-8 to 10^-13 m

Produced by accelerating electrons from a hot filament towards a tungsten anode about 1% of electrons are converted into xray photons

Three interaction mechanisms 1)Photoelectric effect <0.1 MeV ,electrons are absorbed by an electron which gains enough energy to be ejected from a target metal marterial 2)Compton scattering 0.5-5 MeV the photon looses some of its energy to an electon which is ejected from the metal 3)Pair production >1.02 MeV the photon entering an electric field of an atom produces a electron positron pair

Intensity of a beam of xrays is the power per unit area. I=Io*e^μx (μ is attenuation coefficient)

Detecting X-rays


Radioactive substances which are ingested or injected to measure metabolic functions or blood flow.

Magnetic Resonance

1)The nuclei within our body have a property called spin, this allows them to behave as tiny bar magnets when an external field is applied to them 2) When an external magnetic field is applied the nuclei it causes them to alighn in the direction of the external magnetic field and to precess around the direction of the external magnetic field 3)The nuclei have an angular frequency known as the Lamour frequency and is equal to γB (where γ ith the gyromagnetic ratio and depends on the nucleas itself).Therefore the precessional frequency is ( γB/2pi)This frequence is around the frequency of radio waves 4)If the nuclei is forced to oscillate at its natural frequency it absorbs energy causing it to flip into a higher energy state, the radio frequency is then turned of and the nuclei releaase the energy ,the time it takes for the nuclei to reach there origonal state is known as the relaxation time. 5)The relaxation time is dependant upon the surrounding tissue, watery tissue has the longest, then fatty tissues and cancerous tissues have almost immediate relaxation times.

Magnetic resonance imaging- The MRI machine consists of- 1) Superconducting magnets which have a magnetic flux density of 2T 2)Gradient coils which produce an extra exrternal magnetic field which means different parts of the body will have slightly different Lamour frequencies allowing the computer to locate on one reigon of the body 3) RF transmitters coils and RF reciever coils. 4)The computer analyses the frequencies received radiofrequencies,again produces slices and builds up a 3-D image of the body.

Advantages - 1)Can produce a 3-D image of the body 2)Patient not subject to ionising materials 3)Better contrast to soft tissues than a CAT scan 4)No after effects Disadvantages 1)Cannot be used with patients with metal objects in their bodys such as pin joints or pacemakers 2)It takes up to an hour so less patients can use the MRI machine


Ultrasound is any sound wave that is beyond the upperlimit of human hearing (20000 Hz).The ultrasound used in medical practice is around 2MHz

Ultrasound transducer is a device for emmiting ultrasound it consists of a piezoelectric crystal which gives out vibrations equal to the alternatic voltage across it and induces and e.m.f which is equal to the vibrations it recieves.

Acoustic impedance -density of material*the speed of sound in the material. -Radiographers are interested in the amount of US reflected at a boundary back to the receiver. It is dependent upon the acoustic impedance of the two materials at the boundary. -I/I0=(Z2-Z1/Z1=Z2)^2 -If the acoustic impendaces of the two materials are too different then the intensity recieved will be too great and wont be usefull to monitor deeper materials. An example of this is skin and air, a gel has to be used which is similar to the impedance of skin ,this is called impedance matching.

A scan- The e.m.f's induced can be plotted against a time graph to measure the thickness of a material,the time between two pulses is twice the distance traveled by the U.S.

B-Scan comprises of many A-Scans, the position and depth of reflecting surfaces is plotted to produce a 2-D cross sectional image of an organ.

Doppler effect -In the Doppler effect, the wavelength or frequency of a wave changes when there is a relative velocity between a source and detector -Can be used to measure blood flow as the transducer will receive u.s reflections from the iron rich blood. -The frequency of the reflected u.s will be different as it is moving away/closer to the transducer. -Blood flowing towards the transducer will have a higher frequency. -The difference in transmitted/received frequency corresponds to the velocity of blood flow.