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Practices in Medical Physics 1

Semester 2

This laboratory-based course introduces students to the devices and techniques used to perform simple tests on the human body.  Students will perform experiments that use the principles of physics to measure and analyze the physical, electrical, optical and acoustic properties of bone, heart, muscles, eyes, and ears. . This will be followed by a research project designed to test the skills garnered from the experiments along with the theory discussed in PHYS2291. 


The course will consist of six laboratory exercises and a research project. The laboratory exercises are:

  • Determination of Young’s modulus in bone phantoms
  • Determination of the centre of gravity of a human body
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) techniques to examine the heart
  • Electromyography (EMG) techniques to examine nerve condition
  • Audiometric analysisof human hearing
  • Optical analysis of human sight

A research project related to the Level 2 medical physics courses will be assigned. The project content will involve the use of techniques in physics to investigate the effects of a variety of phenomena on the human body (for example, the medical implications of radiation of mobile phones and cell towers). 



The course assessment will be conducted as follows.

One 2-hour in-course practical examination  30%
Six laboratory reports of equal weighting     30%
One written project report (20%) and individual oral presentation (20%)  40%


Students will be expected to satisfy the examiners in each component.


Learning Objectives: 


At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • perform and interpret results of basic electrical diagnostic tests (ECG and EMG) to measure sensory responses on nerves and muscles
  • apply Young’s modulus to solve problems in biomechanics
  • perform audiometric and centre of gravity tests, and interpret the results of these
  • design experiments to study basic physics of the human body
  • make effective oral presentations
  • write technical laboratory reports
PHYS1411 and PHYS1412 and PHYS1421 and PHYS1422



  • Laboratory manual for PHYS2200
  • Herman, I.P. (2007), Physics of the Human Body, Springer. ISBN: 978-3540296034; ISBN-13: 978-3540296034

Internet sources

Course Code: 
3 Credits
Level 2
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