FYS9535 – Medical applications of nuclear physics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course provides an introduction to how radioactive substances and the physical properties of the atomic nucleus is used in medicine, both for diagnostics and therapy. 

Learning outcome

After completing the course: 

  • you have basic knowledge about the physical and chemical properties of radioactivity and radioactive substances.
  • you have knowledge about concepts like dose and the interaction of nuclear radiation with matter, especially in view of the radiations use in molecular targeted cancer treatment. 
  • you have knowledge about principles for detection of nuclear radiation (different types of detectors, detection limits, uncertainty analysis). 
  • you have detailed knowledge of how radioactive nuclides are produced in different types of nuclear reactions (using neutrons and charged particles) and how these nuclides connect to carrier molecules that have a specific transport path, physiological function or interaction with processes in the body. 
  • you know how radioactive trace elements can be used in diagnosis and therapy. 
  • you have knowledge of nuclear medicine detector systems from the simplest (single-detector full body) to the more complicated, such as SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) and PET (Positron Emission Tomography). 
  • you have knowledge about diagnosis and therapy using external radiation such as: X-ray and CT (Computer Tomography), Proton and 12C-therapy. 
  • you are familiar with structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), especially for the fusion of MRI with the functional techniques PET and SPECT, and how nuclear radiation is used in medicine, both in the form of injected radioactive trace elements (tracers) and as external rays. 
  • you have good knowledge of how proton and carbon therapy works, can calculate dose exposure and explain tomographic techniques and imaging.

Admission

Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Prerequisites

Recommended previous knowledge

You should have some knowledge of production and use of radioactive substances in medicine, for instance from a course within one of the following disciplins:  nuclear physics, nuclear chemistry, pharmacy, medicine or medical physics.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with FYS4535 – Medical Applications of Nuclear Physics

Teaching

There is a compulsory attendance for the first lecture. Your registration for the course is withdrawn, if a valid reason for missing the first lecture has not been reported to the Department of Physics studieinfo@fys.uio.no before the lecture starts! 

The course is given as lectures over 60 hours, 4 hours per week. Some of these hours are combined with theoretical exercises in the classroom. 

The course has an excursion to production laboratories (IFE, Oslo Cyclotron Laboratory and Norwegian Medical Cyclotron Laboratory and applied centers (Radiumhospitalet or Rikshospitalet). 

About halfway through the semester, students are given an individual theme to prepare a 15-20 minute mandatory presentation. The presentation will be conducted for lecturers and students in plenary. To be eligble for exam, the oral presentation must be approved.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.

Examination

To be eligble for exam, the oral presentation must be approved.

Final oral exam.

Examination support material

Nuclide chart

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed exam at the beginning of the next semester.

New examinations are offered at the beginning of the next semester for students who do not successfully complete the exam during the previous semester.

We do not offer a re-scheduled exam for students who withdraw during the exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Evaluation

The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course

Credits

10

Level

PhD

Teaching

Every spring

Examination

Every spring

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)