Introduction to health and medical physics

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with an overview of the use of radiation in medicine. Starting from the principles of the interaction of ionizing radiation with matter, the fundamental concepts of radiation therapy with photons and charged particles, and of medical imaging with X-rays and Magnetic Resonance will be developed.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will have acquired knowledge of how the applications of physics methodologies can contribute to both medical diagnostics and therapy. In particular, the student:
- will know the bases of the interaction of ionizing radiation with matter, with specific reference to type of particles, energies and materials of interest for medical physics;
- will know the basic aspects of medical imaging with X-rays in conventional radiology, mammography and computed tomography; as well as the basics of nuclear magnetic resonance imaging;
- will know the basic concepts of radiation therapy with photons and charged particles and the physical, radiobiological and instrumental characteristics of hadrontherapy.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The lessons will be held on the Zoom platform and can be followed both in synchronous and asynchronously because they will be recorded and left available to students on the ARIEL website of the course.
The program and reference material will not be changed. Refer to the ARIEL course website for details.
The exam will take place in oral form using the Zoom platform or, where the regulations allow, in presence, always in oral form.
Course syllabus
The teaching program covers the following points:
- The interaction of ionizing radiation (photons and charged particles) with matter;
- The bases of dosimetry;
- The fundamental concepts of radiotherapy with photons and charged particles;
- Basic aspects of radiobiology;
- The accelerators for hadrontherapy
- Basic concepts of the development of a hadrontherapy treatment plan
- Basic aspects of medical imaging;
- Production and detection of X-rays;
- Conventional Radiology
- Mammography and Computed Tomography
- The basic concepts of MR imaging (T1, T2, Spectroscopy, k-space. Sequences)
Prerequisites for admission
Basis of electromagnetism, nuclear physics and structure of matter
Teaching methods
The teaching method consists of lectures in the classroom, during which the topics of the program are explained together with examples and exercises
Teaching Resources
Slides and bibliographic documents available or suggested on the website of the course in ARIEL (
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment method consists of an oral test aimed at verifying the knowledge acquired by the student and the related processing skills and critical reasoning on the study carried out. Starting from the verification of the knowledge of the physical bases of the interaction of radiation with matter, the student's ability to contextualize these concepts to the diagnostic and therapeutic applications and methodologies typical of medical physics will be examined.
FIS/07 - APPLIED PHYSICS - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours