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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Physics Short Name: LAB
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: BRADLEY DA Prof (Physics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability

Autumn Semester




Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)




100 %


Part-time Students:


Same as for full time students


Qualifying Condition(s) 


There are two lab reports for the Radiation Physics Lab. In addition there is one test for the underpinning lecture material. The marks are distributed among the two lab reports (25 % each) and the test (50%).
Module Overview
To provide the student with underpinning knowledge and practical experience in handling radioactive substances, radiation counting and dosimetry.
Module Aims
To familiarise the student with the use of radioactive substances in a variety of practical situations, radiation counting and spectroscopy equipment employing standard radiation experimental techniques. Effects of radiation on biological systems are developed into effects on humans and reasons for the quantification of risks.  Concepts, quantities and practical methods of measuring radiation dose are considered, including methods for evaluating dose from radioisotopes taken into the body. The module includes consideration of a selection of legal, administrative and practical radiation protection issues within a hospital environment.
Learning Outcomes
  • After completing this module, the student should be able to:


Module Specific Skills:


  • explain the biological effects and safe application of techniques using ionising radiation in human medicine;


  • make detailed calculations of radiation exposure and relate these to practical applications.


  • appreciate the practical aspects of handling radioactive substances and to gain some knowledge as to how to extract information from the radiations emitted on the qualitative and quantitative basis.



Discipline Specific Skills:



  • select an appropriate means of measurement for the various radiation emissions in terms of both dosimetry and spectroscopy;


  • to carry through a detailed investigation of radiation sources and their interactions in media;


  • exhibit familiarity with the possibilities offered by complex digital hardware.



Personal and Key Skills:


·         maintain a laboratory diary at a level appropriate of a professional scientist;



·         analyse and summarise data;



  •   provide concise and accurate reporting of findings, including limitations resulting from an appreciation of equipment capability and the availability of calibration standards.



Module Content
Lecturer/ Lecture Hours/ Title:

Dr K Wells / 2 hours:

Ionising Radiation Detection



Essentials of how radiation detectors work. Pulse counting and deadtime, counting statistics and energy resolution. Solid state detectors:  Ge, Si; ionisation detectors; gas detectors:  Proportional counters MWPCs and G-M tubes.



Classification and definition of scintillators:  organic vs inorganic; the scintillation mechanism of NaI (Tl); photomultiplier tubes; scintillation counters and their uses.





Methods of Teaching/Learning

The module is led by academic staff of the Physics Department, supported by technical staff and demonstrators in the case of laboratories.

Selected Texts/Journals

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


Supplementary References


The Ionising Radiation Regulations (IRR 99) Regulations


Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Edn 60, Weast, CRC Press, 1980


Table of Isotopes, Edn 8: Shirley, Wiley, 1996


Radiation Detection and Measurement, G F Knoll; Wiley & Sons, 1999


Introductory Nuclear Physics, Krane, Wiley, 1988


The Radiochemical Manual, Longworth, AEA Technology, 1998


Radiation Protection: Handbook for Laboratory Workers, Connor, Edn 2, HHSC, 1997


Identification and Reduction of Errors in TLD Systems, PITMAN, 1998


Medical Instrumentation Application & Design, Webster, Wiley 3rd Edn, 1998


The Art of Electronics, Horowitz and Hill, CUP, 1989


Last Updated
19 August 2008