GS02-1093 - Introduction to Medical Physics I
Basic Interactions

Schedule - Fall 2017

last revised 03/31/2017

Objectives:

The purpose of this course is to provide the medical physics student with an introduction to ionizing radiation and its use in medicine. Topics covered include production of radiation, interactions of radiation with matter, and measurement of radiation. This course is a prerequisite for subsequent courses in medical physics.

Lectures:

Mondays, Wednesdays, and occasional Fridays 2:30 - 3:30 pm
Radiation Physics Classroom (FCT8.6091)

Problem Sessions:

Thursdays 2:30 - 3:30 pm
Radiation Physics Classroom (FCT8.6091)

Faculty:

Dr George Starkschall, course coordinator
FCT6.5056
(713) 563-2537
gstarksc@mdanderson.org

Dr Manikam Muruganandham
FCT8.5082
(713) 563-5080
mmuruganandham@mdanderson.org

Dr Thomas Nishino
FCT14.5036
(713) 792-2745
tnishino@mdanderson.org

Dr Ramesh Tailor
FCT8.6068
(713) 563-2638

rtailor@mdanderson.org

Dr Jason Stafford
FCT14.6076
(713) 563-5082
jstafford@mdanderson.org

Required texts:

The required text for the course is The Physics of Radiology, 4th edition, by H.E. Johns and J.R. Cunningham. A discussion of texts for this course can be found in a handout written by Dr Willliam Hanson for a previous incarnation of this course. [link]

Problem Sections:

On Thursdays, we shall go over problems. These sessions will be jointly run by Drs Melancon and Nishino.

Grading:

Grading will be based on the following formula:

40% - in-class quizzes
40% - final examination
10% - classroom participation
10% - homework

Grading is done on an absolute basis; I do not grade on a curve. Please look at the following link for an argument against curve grading. [link]

The need for care:

Medical physics is a discipline in which care and meticulousness is essential, with dire consequences for sloppy work. In order to provide you with some feel for the consequences that may arise when one is not careful, the following link is provided. Please view these presentations at your earliest convenience. [link] In addition a series of articles in the New York Times is a resource for finding out about what can go wrong with radiation. [link]

Before each class:

In order to make most effective use of class time, it is essential for you to come to class prepared to discuss the class material. Before class begins, please download the lecture notes and listen to the recorded class lecture. In addition, please read the reading assignment. Before 10 am the day of each class you are to take the online pre-test. The pre-test should be relatively easy and is just to ascertain whether or not you have prepared for class on that day. It is an open-book, open-notes examination. Be sure to include your name on the pre-test so you can get credit for doing it. Doing and submitting the pre-tests will count toward your classroom participation credit. If any points presented in the lecture are unclear to you, please submit your questions on the pre-test and we will address the questions in class. Before you do, however, please check the link to unclear points for that class.

During class:

This class is going to be somewhat different from most classes you have experienced previously. It is taught using a method called "Peer Instruction," developed by Dr Eric Mazur, a physics professor at Harvard University. Using this technique, I present a multiple-choice question to the class. The question generally illustrates a concept presented in the lecture. Hence it is called a "ConcepTest question." You will have a few minutes to determine the answer to the question. Generally the answer to a ConcepTest question will require neither memorization of facts nor extensive computation, but rather understanding of a concept. When you have determined the answer, you will hold up a card with the correct answer (A, B, C, or D) in such a way that only I can see your answer. Everybody must vote for an answer, even if you have to guess. If everyone has the correct answer, we will briefly discuss the answer, and then we will go on to the next concept. More often than not, some of you will understand the concept and get the correct answer, while others will not have the correct answer. When this occurs, you will gather into groups of 4-5, and each one of you will be charged with convincing the others in the group that your answer is correct. After several minutes of discussion, you will be asked to vote again on the correct answer. We will then discuss the answer and the concept that has been presented. Participation in these discussions will count toward classroom participation credit.

Follow this link to see an example of a ConcepTest question (in another branch of physics): [link to ConcepTest question]

After each class, the ConcepTest questions for that class will be posted on the website.

If you are interested in finding out more about Peer Instruction, here is a link to a YouTube video of a presentation given by Dr Mazur: [link to Peer Instruction presentation]

End of class:

At the end of class, you will be asked to answer a short questionnaire that asks you to identify the key points of the class and any points that remain unclear. Be sure to bring a WiFi-enabled mobile device (smart phone,iPad, laptop, etc.) to class, as the questionnaire is online. If you don't have such a device or forget to bring it to class, I can provide hardcopy versions of the questionnaire. The questionnaire is to be completed by 5 pm on the day of class.

At some point after class, hopefully immediately, but more likely a few hours later, I will post your unclear points on Facebook (see below). These questions will be posted under my name, so you need not be embarrassed if you do not understand something and wish to have a point clarified. Other students in the class will have 24 hours after posting to respond to your questions. If you provide a good response, you will receive additional classroom participation credit towards your final grade. After 24 hours, if a resonable response has not been posted, I will post a response.

To access WiFi in the classroom, you might try uthsc-guest or mdaguest.

After each class:

Most lessons are associated with problem sets. These problem sets will be due at 3:30 pm one week after assignment. They may either be emailed to me, placed in my mailbox, or handed in at the end of class on the day they are due. Solutions to problem sets will be posted after they are due. Problem sets will be graded, and the grades counted toward your final grade.

Guesstimation:

Medical physicists are problem solvers. An important skill in problem solving is the ability to make appropriate assumptions regarding a problem and estimate an answer when you have no idea what the answer is. Many problem sessions will begin with a guesstimation problem. Follow this link to see an example of a classic guesstimation problem. [link]

For the first problem session, you will be discussing the following guesstimation problem:

How much money changes hands during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo?

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of the larger events that are held in Houston during the year.  Typically held during the first three weeks in March it features, in addition to rodeo events, top performing talent, a trade show related to farming and ranching, rides, and many food booths.  While attending the rodeo a few years ago, I wondered how much money changes hands during the rodeo, including admissions, concessions, rides, and food.
And that gives us the aforementioned question.

Feel free to work in groups to present an answer to this problem. Remember that the methodology in solving this problem is what is important, and not the actual number you get.

Hint: A great deal of the specific information you need can be found by doing a web search.

Course Evaluation:

After the orientation lecture, I would like to know something about your expectations regarding this course. Please access this evaluation form [link] and fill it out. We may discuss your expectations in class.

Later in the semester, I would like to know how you perceive the course is coming along. Please access this second evaluation form [link] and fill it out.

At the end of the semester, you will be asked to fill out an evaluation form provided by the GSBS.

Facebook:

A Facebook group has been set up to support communication in this course. Please go onto Facebook and request that I friend you. My email address is gstarksc@mdanderson.org. Once I have friended you, I will add you to the 2017 Med Phys I group.

I will be using Facebook to communicate information to you. Please use Facebook to ask questions regarding this course. Questions regarding course management will be answered when I see them. I will defer answering questions pertaining to course content to give your fellow students first shot at providing an answer. Correct answers to Facebook questions will be counted positively toward your final grade, i.e., you may gain extra credit, and they will also help your friends understand the course material. If you do not wish to set up a Facebook account under your real name, you may do so under an assumed name. Just let me know who you are when you do set up that account.


Course Schedule
Date
Topic Instructor
Monday, 8/28

Part 0 - Introduction to the course

Starkschall
Wednesday, 8/30 Pre-class quiz Starkschall
Thursday, 8/31 No class  
Friday, 9/1

Part 1 - Introductory Material
1.1 - Basic quantities and units
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 1, pp 1-10
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]

[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]

[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to YouTube video on standard deviations]
[link to Problem Set 1.1]
[link to additional problems]

Starkschall
Monday, 9/5 No class - Labor Day  
Wednesday, 9/6

1.2 - Radiation quantities and units
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 1, pp 10-12
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to video]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 1.2]

[link to additional problems]

Starkschall
Thursday, 9/7
No class  

Friday, 9/8

1.3 - Atomic and nuclear structure
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 1, pp 12-21

[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 1.3]

Problem Set 1.1 due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 1.1 Solutions]

Starkschall
Monday, 9/11

1.4 - Tying up some loose ends
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 1, pp 21-34
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 1.4]
[link to additional problems]

Starkschall
Wednesday, 9/13

Part 2 - Production of Radiation
2.1 - Radioactivity
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 3, pp 71-92
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 2.1]
Problem Set 1.2 due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 1.2 Solutions]
[link to additional problems]

Starkschall
Thursday, 9/14
Discussion Section - review Problem Set 1.1 and 1.2 Murugan/Nishino
Friday, 9/15

2.2 - Radioactive Processes
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 3, pp 92-100
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to neat article about medical use of radon]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 2.2]

Problem Set 1.3 due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 1.3 Solutions]
[link to additional problems]

Starkschall
Monday, 9/18 2.3a - Production of X-rays - Part 1
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 2, pp 37-70
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 2.3a]
Problem Set 1.4 due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 1.4 Solutions]
[link to additional problems]
Starkschall
Wednesday, 9/20
2.3b - Production of X-rays - Part 2
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript ]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 2.3b]

Problem Set 2.1 due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 2.1 Solutions ]
Starkschall
Thursday, 9/21
Discussion Section - review Problem Sets 1.3, 1.4, and 2.1
Murugan/Nishino
Friday, 9/22
No class
Problem Set 2.2 due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 2.2 Solutions]
Starkschall
Monday, 9/25
Part 3 - Interactions of Radiation
3.1a - Photon Interactions: Basic Principles (part 1)
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 5, pp 133-146
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript ]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
Problem Set 2.3a due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 2.3a Solutions]
Starkschall
Wednesday, 9/27
3.1a - Photon Interactions: Basic Principles (part 2)
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 3.1a]

[link to additional problems]

Problem Set 2.3b due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 2.3b Solutions]

Starkschall
Thursday, 9/28

Discussion Section - review Problem Sets 2.2, 2.3a, and 2.3b

Murugan/Nishino
Friday, 9/29

No class

Starkschall
Monday, 10/2
Quiz #1
[link to Quiz #1 Solutions]
 
Wednesday, 10/4

3.1b - Photon Interactions: Photoelectric Effect
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 5, pp 146-149; ch 6, pp 167-168
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 3.1b]
[link to additional problems]

3.1c - Photon Interactions: Coherent Scatter (part 1)
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 5, pp 149-150; ch 6, pp 168-173
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
Problem Set 3.1a due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 3.1a Solutions]

Starkschall
Thursday, 10/5
Discussion Section - review Quiz #1 and Problem Sets 2.3b and 3.1a
MuruganNishino
Friday, 10/6
No class  

Monday, 10/9

3.1c - Photon Interactions: Coherent Scatter (part 2)
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 3.1c]

Starkschall
Wednesday, 10/11

3.1d - Photon Interactions: Compton Scatter (Part 1)
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 5, pp 151-155; ch 6, pp 173-184
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]

[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
Problem Set 3.1b due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 3.1b Solutions]

Starkschall

Thursday, 10/12

Discussion Section - review Problem Set 3.1b
Murugan/Nishino
Friday, 10/13
No class
Monday, 10/16
3.1d - Photon Interactions: Compton Scatter (Part 2)
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to Problem Set 3.1d]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]

[link to end of class questions]
Problem Set 3.1c due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 3.1c Solutions]

[link to additional problems]
Starkschall
Wednesday, 10/18
3.1e - Photon Interactions: Pair Production
reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 5, pp 155-158; ch 6, pp 184-186
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to Problem Set 3.1e]
[link to additional problems]
3.1f - Photon Interactions: Photonuclear Disintegration
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
Starkschall

Thursday, 10/19

Discussion Section - review Problem Set 3.1c
Murugan/Nishino
Friday, 10/20 No class  
Monday, 10/23

3.2a - Charged Particle Interactions: Stopping Power
Reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 6, pp 190-197
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 3.2a]

[link to additional problems]
Problem Set 3.1d due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 3.1d Solutions ]

Starkschall
Wednesday, 10/25 3.2b - Charged Particle Interactions: Range, Energy, Depth Dose
Reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 6, pp 197-200
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 3.2b]

Problem Set 3.1e due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 3.1e Solutions]

Starkschall

Thursday, 10/26
Discussion Section - review Problem Set 3.1d, 3.1e
Murugan/Nishino
Friday, 10/27
No class
Monday, 10/30
3.2c - Charged Particle Interactions: Mean Stopping Powers
Reading assignment: Johns & Cunningham, ch 6, pp 200-214
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript ]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]

[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 3.2c]

Problem Set 3.2a due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 3.2a Solutions
]
Starkschall
Wednesday, 11/1

3.3a - Neutron Interactions - Part 1
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 3.3a]
Problem Set 3.2b due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 3.2b Solutions]

Starkschall
Thursday, 11/2

Discussion Section - review Problem Sets 3.2a and 3.2b

Murugan/Nishino
Friday, 11/3

Quiz #2
[link to Quiz #2 Solutions]

 
Monday, 11/6

3.3b - Neutron Interactions - Part 2
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript ]
[link to supplementary reading 1]
[link to supplementary reading 2]
[link to supplementary reading 3]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
Problem Set 3.2c due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 3.2c Solutions]

Starkschall
Wednesday, 11/8

Part 4 - Cavity Theory
4.1a - Cavity Theory - Part 1
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript ]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Siebers Lecture - 2009 AAPM Summer School]

[link to Nahum Lecture - 2009 AAPM Summer School]
[link to Problem Set 4.1a]

Problem Set 3.3a due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 3.3a Solutions]

Starkschall
Thursday, 11/9

Discussion Section - Review Problem Sets 3.2c, 3.3a, and Quiz #2

Murugan/Nishino
Friday, 11/10 No class  
Monday, 11/13

Starkschall

Wednesday, 11/15
4.1c - Cavity Theory - Part 3
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to lecture transcript ]
[link to pre-test]
[link to unclear points]
[link to ConcepTest questions]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to Problem Set 4.1c]
Problem Set 4.1a due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 4.1a Solutions]
Starkschall
Thursday, 11/16
Discussion Section - Review Problem Set 4.1a
Murugan/Nishino
Friday, 11/17
No lecture

 

Monday, 11/20
Part 5 - Solid State Detectors
5.1a - Solid State Detectors
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]
[link to article on fluorescence and phosphorescence]
[link to Beddar manuscript 1 on plastic scintillators]
[link to Beddat manuscript 2 on plastic scintillators]
[link to Vatnitzky manuscript on diamond detectors]
[link to Reddy manuscript on diamond detectors]
[link to Burgemeister manuscript on diamond detectors]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to supplementary reading 1]
[link to supplementary reading 2]

Problem Set 4.1b due @ 3:30 pm
[link to Problem Set 4.1b Solutions]
Tailor
Wednesday, 11/22

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY - NO CLASS
Problem Set 4.1c due @ 4 pm
[link to Problem Set 4.1c Solutions]

 
Thursday, 11/23
THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY - NO CLASS
Friday, 11/24
THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY - NO CLASS
 
Monday, 11/27

5.1b - Solid State Detectors
[link to notes]
[link to end of class questions]

Tailor
Wednesday, 11/29
5.1c - Solid State Detectors
[link to notes]
[link to end of class questions]
[link to additional study questions]

Tailor

Thursday, 11/30

Discussion Section - Review Problem Sets 4.1b and 4.1c

Murugan/Nishino
Friday, 12/1
No class  
Monday, 12/4

6.1 - Interactions of Ultrasound with Tissue
[link to notes]
[link to lecture]

[link to end of class questions]

Stafford
Monday, Dec 11: Final Exam 9 am - noon Imaging Physics Classroom FCT14.5059