Clinical Applications of Physics in Medicine (PHYS*7510)

Code and section: PHYS*7510*01

Term: Winter 2023

Instructor: Ralf Gellert


Course Information

This course is cross-listed with PHYS*4070.


Ralf Gellert, MacN 450

Office hours

Time will be discussed in class, in my office and through zoom 


Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:50pm, MacN 101 and simultaneously through zoom
The zoom link for all lectures will be provided via CourseLink.

Lecture Content

Medical physics is a rapidly developing science field where the strong interference of physics, biology and medicine has a large and growing impact on our health care system. This course gives an overview about the physics foundations and recent technical developments of medical imaging and medical treatment techniques. A special emphasize is put on accelerator-based cancer therapy which revolutionizes the way cancer can be cured through special isotope production, hadron therapy and targeted radiation treatments. Topics include:


  • General image characteristics and image reconstruction
  • X-ray detection and X-ray radiography 
  • Computed tomography
  • Ultrasound
  • Planar scintigraphy, SPECT
  • PET and PET/CT
  • MRI


  • Cancer Treatment using photons and electrons
  • Foundations of hadron cancer therapy
  • Particle accelerators and nuclear reactions
  • Production of radioisotopes
  • Targeted radiation cancer therapy

Course Materials


There is no single textbook which covers the complete course. I will be posting my lecture notes and additional material onto courselink. To some extent, we will closely follow this book:

  • N. Smith, A. Webb: Introduction to Medical Imaging, Cambridge Univ. Press 2010. There is a hardcover (100 Dollars) as well as an e-book version (75 Dollars) available. Includes clinical examples and exercises. 




Assessment Weight
Assignments 30%
Midterm 25%
Presentations 5%
Final exam 40%

Assignments will have extra questions for graduate students. 

Each student gives a presentation (15 min +15 min discussion) during class either in class or via “Zoom” and screen sharing on a selected topic towards the end of the semester (tba).

Course Policies

(Not) Working With Other Students

All work submitted for grading in this course must be each individual student's own work. While students are encouraged to share thoughts and ideas, it is not acceptable to share assignment solutions. The assignments are not group projects. It is important that you do not show your final written solutions to other students.

Course Assessment

The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strength and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member’s contribution in the area of teaching.
The Department’s teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data, and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee only considers comments signed by students. Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards.

University Policies

Email Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

When You Cannot Meet a Course Requirement

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons please advise the course instructor (or designated person, such as a teaching assistant) in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. The grounds for Academic Consideration are detailed in the Undergraduate and Graduate Calendars.

Drop Date

Students will have until the last day of classes to drop courses without academic penalty. The deadline to drop two-semester courses will be the last day of classes in the second semester. This applies to all students (undergraduate, graduate and diploma) except for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology (conventional and alternative delivery) students. The regulations and procedures for course registration are available in their respective Academic Calendars.

Copies of Out-of-class Assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliable back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.


The University promotes the full participation of students who experience disabilities in their academic programs. To that end, the provision of academic accommodation is a shared responsibility between the University and the student.

When accommodations are needed, the student is required to first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Documentation to substantiate the existence of a disability is required; however, interim accommodations may be possible while that process is underway.

Accommodations are available for both permanent and temporary disabilities. It should be noted that common illnesses such as a cold or the flu do not constitute a disability.

Use of the SAS Exam Centre requires students to book their exams at least 7 days in advance and not later than the 40th Class Day.

For Guelph students, information can be found on the SAS website

For Ridgetown students, information can be found on the Ridgetown SAS website

Academic Integrity

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity, and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community-faculty, staff, and students-to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring. University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff, and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that encourages academic integrity. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it.

Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

Recording of Materials

Presentations that are made in relation to course work - including lectures - cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a student, or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.


The Academic Calendars are the source of information about the University of Guelph’s procedures, policies, and regulations that apply to undergraduate, graduate, and diploma programs.

Academic Calendars


Please note that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may necessitate a revision of the format of course offerings and academic schedules. Any such changes will be announced via CourseLink and/or class email. All University-wide decisions will be posted on the COVID-19 website and circulated by email.