Medical Physics

Applied Physics, First Cycle
3 year
Hours per week – 2. semester:

Regular admission to the programme.

Content (Syllabus outline)

Physics of the living matter: an introduction to medical physics (bioelements, homeostasis, feedback loops in living matter), basics of biochemistry (chemical bonding, hydrogen bonding, water molecule, isomerism, biomolecules, proteins, DNA, lipids), basic physiology concepts (membrane, ions, membrane potential), action potential of nerve cells (morphology of the action potential, Hodgkin-Huxley model of the membrane), cardiac muscle fiber (action potential, current dipole), heart muscle (syncytium). Imaging methods in medical physics: electrocardiogram, electroencephalogram, x-ray (ionizing radiation, sources of X-rays, X-rays interaction with living matter, examples of X-ray images), the basic principles of X-ray tomography, fundamentals of dosimetry (interaction of ionizing radiation with living tissues, dose, protection against radiation), magnetic resonance imaging (physical basis, excitation and relaxation of nuclei, sequences, basic elements of imaging, use of gradients, k-space), ultrasonic imaging (physical basis, acoustic impedance, attenuation, warp imaging, Doppler imaging), imaging in nuclear medicine (concept of radiopharmaceutical, gamma radiation sources, an overview of tomographic methods - SPECT, PET, security imaging). Safety at work, which include the patient (the part that is connected to the medical physics)

  1. C. Guy, D. Fytche, An Introducition to the Principles of Medical Imaging. Imperial College Press, 2005

  2. R. Plonsey, R. Barr, Bioelectricity - A quantitative approach. Springer, 2007

  3. R.M. Berne, M.N. Levy, Physiolog, 4th ed. Elsevier, 2007

  4. Lehninger, Principles of biochemistry. 4th ed. W. H. Freeman, 2004

  5. Atkins’ Physical Chemistry. 7th ed. Oxford University Press, 2008

  6. R. Hren, Zapiski predavanj iz Medicinske fizike . Dosegljivo na spletnem naslovu

  7. M. Milanič, Zapiski vaj iz Medicinske fizike . Dosegljivo na spletnem naslovu:

Objectives and competences

Objectives: To review the application of physics in medicine and biomedical sciences. Introduction to basics of physics of living matter (biochemistry, physical chemistry and physiology). Getting to know the basic methods of imaging in medical physics. Getting to know the conceptual elements of designing and solving interdisciplinary scientific and technical problems.


  • Ability to recognize and solve physical problems in biomedical sciences during routine work;
  • Knowledge of the most important fields of physics;
  • Ability to search the scientific literature, to prepare synthesis of data, to gather public speaking skills;
  • Awareness of ethical principles in physics in conjunction with medicine.
Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding: Knowledge of basic concepts and laws of physics of living matter. Understanding the basics of imaging techniques in medicine (the link between the basic laws and technological solutions). Conceptual understanding of data processing in medical physics.

Application: Using physical principles and laws in complex systems. The application of technological solutions resting on simplifications / approximations.

Reflection: interdisciplinary understanding of the processes in nature and technology

Transferable skills: Gathering skills of domestic and foreign literature search. Preparing synthesis of data and the ability to use elements of public speaking.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, exercises, individual assignments, homework


»Exercise« rating: individual assignment (report, powerpoint presentation, oral delivery).
»Exam« rating: written exam.
grading: 5 (fail), 6-10 (pass) (according to the Statute of UL)

Lecturer's references
  1. Jeraj, R., Mackie, T.R., Balog, J., and Olivera, G., Dose calibration of nonconventional treatment systems applied to helical tomotherapy, Med Phys 32(2), 2005, 570-7.
  2. Jeraj, R., Mackie, T.R., Balog, J., Olivera, G., Pearson, D., Kapatoes, J., Ruchala, K., and Reckwerdt, P., Radiation characteristics of helical tomotherapy, Med Phys 31(2), 2004, 396-404.
  3. Jeraj, R., Wu, C., and Mackie, T.R., Optimizer convergence and local minima errors and their clinical importance, Phys Med Biol 48(17), 2003, 2809-27. activation for radiofrequency ablation. Physiol Meas. 1997; 18:373-400.