College Of Arts And Sciences | The Physics of Modern Medical Imaging
E105 | 0135 | Ogren

Class Description and Schedule:

The main goals of the course are to present the underlying physics of the
modern techniques used for medical diagnostic imaging. This will be done by
focusing on the following imaging techniques- in this order:

CAT scans, Computed Axial Tomography
PET, Positron Emission Tomography
MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging

The course will be arranged so that the medical imaging topics will be
focus points of a discussion of Modern Physics. The physics topics that
will be covered are:

Electricity and Magnetism
Nuclear Physics

Goal of course:

The goal is to present a clear and understandable explanation of medical
imaging techniques. I will present an overview that should interest a
prospective medical student or a curious non-science student. A secondary
goal is to discuss the application of modern physics to the technology that
surrounds us. Medical imaging is developing at such a rapid pace due to the
influence of superconducting magnet technology, semiconductor research, and
high speed computing. The relevance of present day scientific research to
our every day lives is not always apparent and is not appreciated by the
news media and politicians.

Student Involvement:

This course will be taught as a lecture course. In the weekly homework
problems students will discuss a new item on medical imaging that accessed
from WWW or commercial publications.

Because of the nature of this course, I hope to bring in local experts to
discuss certain aspects of medical imaging.


Science: No previous physics course is required.
Mathematics: One year of high school algebra and trigonometry is recommended.
In general I would expect the requirements to be approximately equivalent
to a P201 course. The course will be taught in a way that requires less
mathematical background than P201, however.


Students will be expected to learn the computer skills to navigate the
World Wide Web and collect documents for their weekly reports. These will
contain discussions of current news items on a particular aspect of
imaging. There will also be reading assignments at the level of Scientific
American articles.

There will be two examinations during the semester.  On the exams the
students will be required to express themselves both in essay questions and
with simple calculations.


The final grade will be based on the following; Exams 300 points, weekly
reports 300 points, 600 total Points