PHY209 Radiation Physics (8)

In this subject physical concepts and laws are introduced relating to radiation generation and interaction, along with mathematical and computational methods used in describing the behaviour of radiation.
Broad areas of study include: Concepts of modern physics, elementary nuclear physics, radiation generation and interaction, radiation metrology, introduction to dosimetry, applicable mathematical methods, and radiation counting statistics. Elementary computational work in radiation physics using readily available spreadsheet software is also undertaken.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2018.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Biomedical Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Available to students in B App Sc (Medical Imaging) Conversion or to any student having obtained special approval from the subject co-ordinator.

Subject Relationships

PHY210 PHY209 includes methods and principles necessary for successful and efficient study of PHY210

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • solve problems of a conceptual, numeric or symbolic nature in the specific individual syllabus areas;
  • relate concepts and physical laws to phenomena involving radiation in an exact, specific, and accurate fashion, and demonstrate such an ability in the solution of problems; and
  • deduce appropriate analytical and/or computational methods to fulfil both of the above objectives.


This subject will cover the following topics:

Mathematical & Computational Methods. Brief review of high school level mathematics pertinent to radiation physics. Elementary aspects of series and numerical methods. Use of software (esp. spreadsheets and Excel) in computation. Concepts of Modern Physics. Energy-Mass equivalence, wave-particle natures, basic atomic structure, nuclear decay laws and modes, elementary aspects of particle physics. Radiation Generation Definition of radiation. Characteristic and continuous X ray spectra, and gamma spectra. Thick and thin target X ray generation. Point versus plane sources. Radiation -Matter Interaction. Charged and uncharged particle interactions. Photoelectric, Compton and Pair production events. Bethe-Bloch model. Chance and the exponential attenuation law, parameters of photon survival. Attenuation and absorption coefficients. Radiation Metrology. Definition of radiation measurement quantities: particle and energy fluence, particle flux and intensity. Exposure and kerma. Mean and 'point' quantities. Introduction to Radiation Dosimetry Absorbed dose D. Electronic equilibrium. Relationships between beam quantities and D, the f factor. Radiation Detection. Principles of radiation detection. Radiation detector types. Radiation Counting Statistics. Poisson statistics, probability distributions, basic z, t and chi squared tests for radiation counts.

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Optional Residential School.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.