Basic Physics

  • Lance V. Hefner
  • Anil Shetty


Radiation is defined as “emission and propagation of waves or particles.” These waves and particles can be of any type. Waves in water radiate away from a stone tossed into a pond. Shrapnel from an explosion radiates from an exploding bomb. Electromagnetic radiation is made up of small packets of energy (photons) that radiate away from their source. Sources of electromagnetic radiation include the sun, light bulbs, cellular phones, and x-ray machines. Photons are distinguished on the basis of their energy. Two photons of the same energy are in every way identical. If photons have different energies they have different characteristics. The warmth from a fire is transmitted by infrared photons. We have vision because visible light photons interact with the retinas of our eyes. When the energy of the photon increases, the visible light photons become ultraviolet photons, which produce suntans and sunburns; as the energy continues to increase, we eventually have x-rays. We do not sense x-rays directly, but we can indirectly see the x-ray photons by using x-ray film or electronic devices. Infrared and light photons do not pass through the body and are of little use in evaluating the interior of the body; x-rays pass through human tissue much more readily than other types of radiation and allow us to see “inside” the body.


Transverse Magnetization Compute Tomog Magnetic Field Gradient Larmor Frequency Precessional Frequency 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lance V. Hefner
  • Anil Shetty

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