University of Surrey - Guildford

Registry > Module Catalogue
View Module List by A.O.U. and Level  Alphabetical Module Code List  Alphabetical Module Title List  Alphabetical Old Short Name List  View Menu 
2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Physics Short Name: PHM-USA
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: BRADLEY DA Prof (Physics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Spring Semester


Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)


Closed book examination and coursework


100 %


Part-time Students:


Same as for full time students


Qualifying Condition(s) 


This module is assessed by coursework and examination. The coursework consists of one lab report for module sub-section ‘Ultrasonics, instrumentation and practice’ and full marks for this will be equivalent to 25% of the total marks available in assessment of this module. The examined component appears in Paper 5 which will consist of 5 questions. Students answer 3 questions from the 5. Full marks for a question will be equivalent to 25 % of the total marks available in assessment of this module.
Module Overview
This module provides an introduction to imaging techniques that do not involve ionising radiation, an area in which there have been a number of major developments in the last decade. The module is designed to give students knowledge of the basic physics that underpins ultrasound, together with details of common imaging strategies. The module also covers topics relating to audiometry and audiology, including an overview of the physiological and acoustic processes involved in the production and perception of speech sounds. 
Module Aims
To introduce the uses of ultrasound in medicine and to outline the physical principles involved. To identify limitations and explore practical solutions within the context of the applications. The module also aims to provide a basic understanding of the physical and subjective principles of audiometry and their interrelations, also providing some practical experience in audiometric procedures and calibration. 
Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, the student should be able to:


·         manipulate the wave equation (in relation to acoustics) and analyse sound propagation in various systems, including propagation across boundaries; 


·         describe the acoustics of speed production and the structure and function of the ear;


·         describe the physical and subjective principles of audiometry and their interrelations and to have practical ability in audiometry procedures and calibration.


Module Specific Skills:


  • describe the fundamental processes involved with the interaction of ultrasound with matter;


  • explain the biological applications of techniques using ultrasound and audiometric procedures.



Discipline Specific Skills:


·       use this knowledge when taking up posts within the Health Service and other related fields;



Personal and Key Skills:


ability to use physics techniques in a multidisciplinary context.
Module Content















Dr TJ Esward





































Dr P Radomskij


Mr G Frost


Ultrasonics theory, instrumentation and practice


Nature of ultrasound, ultrasonic wave parameters, linear wave propagation, speed, compressibility, impedance, pressure, phase, intensity, power, reflection, refraction, scattering, absorption, attenuation;  Piezoelectric effect, single element transducer, pulse shape, measurement of acoustic field, pulse repetition frequency, pulse repetition period, wave front, beam shapes, near field, far field, focusing;  ultrasound imaging, Doppler, quality assurance, artifacts (Imaging and Doppler); Interaction of ultrasound with tissue, possible biological effects;  Measurement of the acoustic output parameters.


Production and assessment of Ultrasound scans.  Probe design.  Interaction of ultrasound with tissue.    Resolution.  Digitisation and signal processing.  Synthetic aperture techniques.  Harmonic imaging.  Measurement errors.  Quality assurance & phantoms.


The Doppler equation.  Uses of Doppler.  Indexes of wave shape and applications.  Frequency analysis techniques.  Pulse Doppler.  Colour representation of blood flow. Artifacts. 


Ultrasonic therapies, including lithotripsy and hyperthermia.




1.  Determination of the sound speed, acoustic impedance, reflection coefficients and attenuation of materials using pulse-echo ultrasound.


2.  Measurement of fluid flow using a simple portable diagnostic Doppler ultrasound system of the kind  frequently met in medical practice. 


3.  Plotting the acoustic field radiated by an ultrasound transducer using a state-of-the-art pvdf needle probe hydrophone.


4.  Investigation of acoustic streaming and banding and cavitation in high-intensity acoustic fields.


5.  Measurement of the power output of therapy-level transducers using a tethered float radiometer.




Audiometry & audiological testing


As most students will have no knowledge of acoustic measurement a significant portion of the course is devoted to the measurement of sound pressure level both in general and with special reference to its measurement in artificial ears and hence the standardisation of audiometric zero.


Basic Anatomy and Physiology of the auditory system.  Subjective aspects of hearing and threshold measurement.  Sound level meters.  Types of audiometry and audiometers. Design and calibration of audiometers.  Procedures for audiometry.



















































































Methods of Teaching/Learning
The module is taught by external lecturers from the clinical, manufacturing and national standards professions. 
Selected Texts/Journals

Each lecturer recommends his/her own set of reference books. The current list is as follows:


Essential Reading


Wells P, Ultrasonic imaging of the human body, Rep. Prog Phys, 62, 1999, pp 671-722


Fundamentals of Acoustics, Kinsler L E et al., Wiley & Sons Ltd, New York , 1982


The Physics of Medical Imaging, Ed S Webb, IoPP, 1988, 2002


Output Measurements for Medical Ultrasound, RC Preston (Ed) Springer-Verlag 1991


Physics & Instrum. of Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound, Fish P, Wiley 1999


Ultrasound Physics & Instrumentation, Hedrick, Hykes & Strachman, Elsevier, 1995


Essentials of Ultrasound Physics, JA Zagzebski, Elsevier, 1996


The Safe Use of Ultrasound in Medical Diagnosis, G ter Haar & FA Duck, BMUS 2000


Fundamentals and Applications of Ultrasonic Waves, JDN Cheeke, CRC Press, 2002.


Diagnostic Ultrasound - Physics and Equipment, PR Hoskins, A Thrush, K Martin, TA Whittingham, Greenwich Medical Media Ltd., 2003.


Doppler Ultrasound Physics Instrumentation & Clinical Applications, Evans D, McDicken W, Skidmore R, Woodcock J, John Wiley & Sons


Essentials of Ultrasound Physics, James A. Zagzebski, Mosby-Year Book Inc., 1996


Output Measurements for Medical Ultrasound, Roy C Preston, Springer-Verlag, 1991


Paediatric Audiology 0-5 years, 2nd Edn, 1993. McCormick B (Ed), Whurr Publishers,


Speech Audiometry, Martin M (Ed), Whurr Publications, London (1997)                 


Ballantyne’s Deafness:  6th Edition (2000) John Graham, Michael Martin, Whurr Pub.


The Handbook of Clinical Audiology. J Katz. 5th Edn, Lipincott, Williams & Wilkins 2002


An introduction to the Physiology of Hearing, J O Pickles, Acad. Press 1988


Vertigo. M Dix 7 D Hood 1984. Scott-Browns Diseases of the Ear, Nose & Throat, Vol. 1 (Basic Sciences) Ed, M Gleeson 1997. Butterworth Heinemann


Scott-Browns Diseases of the Ear, Nose &Throat.  Vol 2: Adult Audiology. Ed. D Stephens, 1997. Butterworth Heinemann


Diseases of the Ear, Mawson & Wright, 6th Edn, Edward Arnold, 1997


A Synopsis of Otolaryngology, R Gray & M Hawthorne , 5th Edn, Butterworth Heinemann, 1992


Last Updated

19 August 2008