Matter and Radiation

This course covers topics in relation to the “Matter and Radiation” module of the FRCR Part 1 examination, delivered by the following lecturers:

  • Professor Robert Speller 
  • Dr Richard Meades (Principal Nuclear Medicine Physicist, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust)

This course forms 1 part of 7 courses which relate to the modules of the FRCR part 1: Matter and Radiation, Radiography and Fluoroscopy, Radiation Safety, Computed Tomography, Radionuclide Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and Ultrasound.

The conversion to this format of online courses is new for 2021; the content is under continual review, and may modified, added to or removed based on peer review and user feedback. 

The London School of Radiology has been granted permission by the above lecturer to use the videos and materials provided by them within this course. The above lecturer retains the copyright and intellectual property rights of this content. Unless permission has otherwise been obtained, redistribution or unauthorised access to this material is strictly prohibited.

You can alternatively navigate the learning material using the syllabus map laid out below with relevant videos linked with the curriculum items.

ContentExamples of Expected Knowledge
Structure of matter, the atom and the nucleus
Interaction of electrons and photons with matter
Understand basic atomic structure, including electron shells & energies.
–> Atomic Structure Atomic Structure Atomic Mass, Atomic Number, Electronvolts

Nature and properties of charged particle and electromagnetic radiation
–> Electromagnetic Radiation

Understand how ionizing radiation interacts with atoms and molecules, especially those in human tissues.
–> Interaction of Photons with Matter

Interaction of photons with matter over energy range 10 keV to 1 MeV
–> Interaction of Photons with Matter

Have knowledge of the photoelectric and Compton interactions, including the likelihood depending on photon energy and the atomic number of the atoms in the matter.
–> Photoelectric Effect Compton Scatter Probability of Interaction – Principles Probability of Photoelectric and Compton Interactions

Electron energy in solids
–> Interactions of Electrons with Matter

Understand how electron energy is dependent on the elements of matter and the physical form of that matter.
Filtration of x-ray beamsUnderstand the spectrum of energies in x-ray production and how and why the energy distribution might be changed by materials placed in the primary beam in order to improve image quality and/or reduce patient radiation exposure
–> Tube Potential, Filtration and the X-ray Spectrum Molybdenum Target and Filter
Nuclear stabilityThe combination of protons and neutrons have a direct implication on whether a nucleus is stable and how that relates to radioactive decay.
–> Introduction to Radioactivity Radioactive Transformations
Mechanisms of radioactive transformationIsomeric transition
Electron capture
–> Electron Capture
Beta emission
Alpha emission
Gamma ray emission
–> Alpha, Beta, Gamma Emission
Characteristic x-rays
–> Interactions of Electrons with Matter The X-ray Spectrum
Nuclear energy states and gamma emissionEnergy levels within nuclei and the implications for the energies of gamma rays emitted by clinically used radionuclides.
–> Alpha, Beta, Gamma Emission Emission Energies Applications of Radioactive Transformation
Activity and radioactive decayUnderstand the definition of activity and how it is measured.
–> Measuring Radioactivity Measuring Radioactivity

Understand physical, biological and effective half-lifes and how these factors relate to patient dose.
–> Absorbed and Effective Dose
Background radiationHave knowledge of background sources of radiation.
–> Natural Radiation
Artificial radionuclides and their productionHow radionuclides are produced using:
–> Radionuclide Production
–> Cyclotron
Fission products
–> Fission Products Nuclear Fission
Generators and elution
–> Radionuclide Generators
Radiopharmaceuticals and their productionHow radionuclides are incorporated into clinically useful molecules.  Shelf life, quality assurance.
–> Radiopharmaceuticals Radiopharmaceutical Quality Control

Course Content

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Structure of Matter and Interactions with Photons and Electrons

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