© 2010

Radiation Physics for Medical Physicists


Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XXXIII
  2. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 1-75
  3. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 77-137
  4. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 139-175
  5. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 177-205
  6. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 207-225
  7. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 227-275
  8. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 277-375
  9. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 429-449
  10. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 451-473
  11. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 475-521
  12. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 523-575
  13. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 577-607
  14. Ervin B. Podgoršak
    Pages 609-643
  15. Back Matter
    Pages 645-745

About this book


This well-received  textbook and reference summarizes the basic knowledge of atomic, nuclear, and radiation physics that professionals working in medical physics and biomedical engineering need for efficient and safe use of ionizing radiation. Concentrating on the underlying principles of radiation physics, it covers the prerequisite knowledge for medical physics courses on the graduate and post-graduate levels in radiotherapy physics, radiation dosimetry, imaging physics, and health physics, thus providing the link between elementary physics on the one hand and the intricacies of the medical physics specialties on the other hand. This expanded and revised second edition offers reorganized and expanded coverage. Several of the original chapters have been split into two with new sections added for completeness and better flow. New chapters on Coulomb scattering; on energy transfer and energy absorption in photon interactions; and on waveguide theory have been added in recognition of their importance. Others training for professions that deal with ionizing radiation in diagnosis and treatment as well as medical residents, students of technology and dosimetry,and biomedical engineering will find many sections interesting and useful for their studies. It also serves as excellent preparatory materials for candidates taking professional certification examinations in medical physics, medical dosimetry, and in medical specialties such as radiotherapy, diagnostic radiology, and nuclear medicine.

From reviews of the first edition:

"Any instructor teaching an introductory graduate-level course on the principles of medical physics should consider this book for adoption as a text… cover[s] the principles themselves, and it covers them very well." (Medical Physics, January 2006)

"… a delight and ready-reference also to seasoned practitioners… This textbook, based on notes the author ‘developed over the past 25 years of teaching radiation physics to MSc and PhD students in medical physics at McGill University’ is a real gem for the bookshelf of anyone already professional working in the radiation sciences…" (John H. Hubbell, Radiation Physics and Chemistry)

"...for the theory of radiation physics at a fundamental level, Podgorsak's book provides a wonderful resource presented in a well organized and easy to learn manner, in a way not found in any other text... " (Jake van Dyk, London Regional Cancer Program, Can. Med Phys Newsletter (July 2006)


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Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Health CentreMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

About the authors

Ervin B. Podgorsak was born in Vienna, Austria and grew up in Ljubljana, Slovenia where he completed his undergraduate studies in technical physics at the University of Ljubljana in 1968. He then studied at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, USA and obtained M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in physics. He completed his post-doctoral studies in medical physics at the University of Toronto in 1974 and moved to McGill University in Montreal, where he currently holds positions of Professor of Medical Physics and Director of the Medical Physics department.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Oncology & Hematology


From the reviews of the second edition:

“It covers the prerequisite knowledge needed for courses specific to the subdisciplines of medical physics­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­–radiotherapy physics, radiation dosimetry, imaging physics­­­­, and health physics. … Every medical physicist should master the principles in the book so that their applications in specific fields of medical physics can be understood and appreciated. … Book is recommended as the text for a course designed for entering graduate students in medical physics, and every medical physicist should understand and be able to utilize the information in the text.” (William Hendee, Medical Physics, Vol. 37 (9), September, 2010)