Radiation and Radiotherapy


This is a 4th year course that, based on the knowledge acquired in Atomic and Nuclear Physics courses, introduces the areas of dosimetry, biological effects of radiation and its applications. Their knowledge of practical aspects of radiation detection, involving different kind of detectors, the associated electronics and data acquisition, will be applied to the design of laboratorial tests and experiments. Also, students will get acquainted with simulation software for dosimetric calculations.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Adelaide de Almeida Pedro de Jesus


Weekly - 4

Total - 56

Teaching language



Available soon


 Atoms, Radiation, and Radiation Protection, 2nd Edition, James E. Turner 

Radiation Therapy Physics, 3rd Edition, William R. Hendee, Geoffrey S. Ibbott, Eric G. Hendee 

Medical Applications of Nuclear Physics, Series: Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Bethge, K., Kraft, G., Kreisler, P., Walter, G.

Teaching method

The teaching method is inspired by "Active Learning", with two kind of classes: theoretical and pratical.

Theoretical classes: the students are divided in groups of 6 (exceptionally 7) elements and are supposed to study previously, with the help of bibliography and slides at their disposal.  In each class after a brief introduction of the main issues to be covered in that class, a question is proposed to each group containing conceptual aspects and applications (problem solving). During the activity the teacher discuss with each group some aspects of the group''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s question. Every two weeks, the students are submitted to a 30 mn evaluation test.

Pratical classes: are aimed at simulation of problems raised in the theoretical classes.  Students are divided in groups of  2 (exceptionally 3) elements.

Evaluation method

The evaluation has 2 components relative to: tests (respective grade NT); practical simulation exercises (respective grade NP).

The grade relative to the tests is the average of the grades corresponding to 2 tests performed during the semester.

The practical grade is the weighted average of  4 simulation exercises (and respective reports) with weights of 15%, 25%, 25% and 35%, from the first to the last.

 Condition to obtain attendance:  NP>10

Conditions to obtain approval: NP>10 and NT>10 

The final grade of continuous evaluation is given by the following expression, with partial grades approximated to the first decimal:

NAC = 0,4 x NP+0,6 x NT

The tests may be replaced by the exam

The final grade is given by

NF = 0,4 x NP+0,6 x NE

where NE is the exam grade.

Subject matter

Radiation: Interaction of ionizing electromagnetic radiation with matter – effects on the radiation (absorption, scattering); Interaction of charged particles with matter – effects on the particles (stopping power, range, energy straggling and angular straggling, production of electromagnetic radiation); Effects of radiation on matter – energy transfer, excitation, ionization; Dosimetry – units, measurements, calculation of doses; Effects of radiation on biological tissues – direct and indirect, somatic and genetic, stochastic and deterministic; dose/effect relation; Basic rules for Safety and Radiological Protection.

Radiotherapy: External radiotherapy with electromagnetic radiation; External radiotherapy with ion beams; Internal radiotherapy or Brachitherapy.


Programs where the course is taught: