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Course Descriptions

Medical Physics course descriptions

  • Mathematics for Medical Imaging (MATH 584)
    Covers the basic principles of mathematical analysis, the Fourier transform, interpolation and approximation of functions, sampling theory, digital filtering and noise analysis.
  • Introduction to Radiation Protection (MMP 501)
    Introduction to applied nuclear and atomic physics; radioactive decay; radiation interactions; biological effects and safety guidelines; radiation detection, instrumentation and protection.
  • Medical Ethics/Governmental Regulation (MMP 502)
    Fundamentals of professional ethics for medical physicists through exploration of Code of Ethics (published by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine); case studies; survey of governmental regulations pertinent to medical physics will be covered.
  • Physics of Radiation Therapy (MMP 506)
    Clinical radiation oncology physics; principles of radiation-producing equipment; photon and electron beams; ionization chambers and calibration protocols; brachytherapy, dose modeling and calculations; treatment planning.
  • Physics of Medical Imaging (MMP 507)
    Physical principles of diagnostic radiology, fluoroscopy, computed tomography; principles of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging; radioisotope production, gamma cameras, SPECT systems, PET systems; diagnostic and nuclear medicine facilities and regulations. The course includes a component emphasizing the emerging field of molecular imaging.
  • Image-Based Anatomy (MMP 511)
    Taught by a radiation oncologist, this medical physics course will focus on major organ systems and disease areas and be presented from a radiologic or imaging (including cross-sectional) viewpoint in addition to a standard anatomy and physiology presentation. This course is required by the ABR.
  • Radiation Biology (MMP 512)
    Fundamental knowledge of mechanisms and biological responses of human beings to ionizing and non-ionizing radiation through the study of effects of radiation on molecules, cells and humans; radiation lesions and repair; mechanisms of cell death; cell cycle effect, radiation sensitizers and protectors; tumor radiobiology; relative sensitivities of human tissue and radiation carcinogenesis. This course is required by the ABR.
  • Mathematical Methods (PHYS 500)
    Concepts and techniques of classical analysis employed in physical theories. Topics include complex analysis, Fourier series and transforms, ordinary and partial equations, and Hilbert spaces.
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena (PHYS 516)
    Electrostatics and magnetostatics, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves and radiation.
  • Advanced Laboratory (PHYS 521)
    Directed experiments in classical, modern and medical physics introducing the student to modern laboratory instrumentation and techniques.
  • Electromagnetism I (PHYS 561)
    Intermediate course covering electrostatic fields and potentials, dielectrics and direct currents.
  • Electromagnetism II (PHYS 562)
    A continuation of PHYS 561 covering magnetic fields and potentials, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves and radiation.
  • Medical Radiation Engineering (PHYS 582)
    Fundamental concepts underlying radiological physics and radiation dosimetry. Covers photon and neutron attenuation, radiation and charged particle equilibrium, interactions of photons and charged particles with matter and radiotherapy dosimetry, including photographic, calorimetric, chemical and thermoluminescence dosimetry.

Elective Course Descriptions

  • Optical Imaging (BE 517)
    A modern introduction to the physical principles of optical imaging with biomedical applications.
  • Quantitative Image Analysis (BE 546)
    This course focuses on different kinds of analysis methods along with brief reviews of mathematical background and examples of specific areas of biomedical application.
  • Techniques of MRI (BMB 581)
    A detailed survey of the physics and engineering of magnetic resonance imaging as applied to medical diagnosis.
  • Cancer Biology (BMB 585)
    This course provides foundational information about the molecular basis of cancer.
  • Probability and Statistics for Biotechnology (CBE 508)
    This course is designed as an overview of probability and statistics including linear regression, correlation and multiple regressions.
  • Optics (PHYS 530)
    Introduction to contemporary optics, including propagation and guiding of light waves, interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter, lasers, non-linear optics, coherent transient phenomena, photon correlation spectroscopies and photon diffusion.
  • Quantum Mechanics (PHYS 531)
    Wave mechanics, complementarity and correspondence principles, semi-classical approximation, bound state techniques, periodic potentials, angular momentum, scattering theory, phase shift analysis and resonance phenomena.
  • Biological Physics (PHYS 580)
    A survey of basic biological processes at all levels of organization (molecule, cell, organism, population) in the light of simple ideas from physics.

Hospital Affiliations

Program Resources

Penn's Medical Physics Programs work in collaboration with area hospitals to offer additional practicum experiences and hands-on medical physics training. 

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Penn LPS

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

Telephone: (215) 898-7326
Fax: (215) 573-2053

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