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Radiation Physicst

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  • Thread starter Niles
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  • #1
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Hi all.

Today at school at I saw a poster on radiation physics. I have never thought about taking courses in this area of physics, but it seems very applied, so I am interested in knowing more about this.

Is it possible to get a job at e.g. a medical center/hospital doing research if you have only studied radiation physics, and not medical physics/biophysics in general? And if this wouldn't work out, do you know if there is being research done in this area anymore?

Thanks in advance.

Best regards,
Niles.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Choppy
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Radiation physics could include a lot of things.

In relation to medical physics radiation physics might include Monte Carlo transport algorithms, nano-scale track structure, accelerator design, detector design, instrumentation (for example a study of the performance of circuits/devices when subject to radiation - this has applications in medicine and space), medical applications of high LET radiation, etc.

In general, if you're interested in working in a hospital with physics, medical physics is the way to go.
 
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How would you rate the chances of a "pure" physicst with considerable experience in radiation to be able to work at a medical center/hospital doing the above mentioned things?

The reason why I am asking is because the biophysical courses at my college are mostly courses in chemistry and biochemistry, so I am not so sure how applied they are.
 
  • #4
Choppy
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As I said, if you're really interested in working in a hospital with radiation, medical physics is the way to go. The best path towards getting there is an undergraduate degree in physics ('pure' physics), followed by a graduate degree in medical physics.
Note that to get into a medical physics program, you don't generally need any courses other than those you would pursue in a regular undergraduate physics program (although exact requirements do vary from school to school).

You can get into the field with say a Ph.D. in another area of physics, but this avenue is shrinking rapidly - largely because you would be competing with graduates coming from certified medical physics programs. I can't give you exact odds on the matter because it's a supply and demand issue.

Biophysics tends more to do with the physics of interactions on the biochemical level. The biophysicists I know, spend a lot of time working out the kinetics of different drugs - work that ultimately can suggest more lucrative avenues of research for pharmeceuticals.
 

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