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Medical Physics - Medical Applications
You may have had an x-ray at the dentist.

Medical Physics - Medical Applications

This GCSE Physics quiz looks at medical applications. A knowledge and understanding of physics is widely used in medical applications to provide better treatment and prevention of illness and ailments. Probably the first to spring to mind is the use of X-rays for examining broken bones, but there are many more such as Computerised Tomography (CT) scanning machines and endoscopes. Radioisotopes can be injected or swallowed and their radioactivity can be measured from outside of the body. This enables doctors to follow how the body is working. Medical radioisotopes have short half-lives and do not emit alpha particles. Inside the human body, alpha particles are the most damaging form of radiation.

For the GCSE, you are required to know about X-rays and ultrasound for scanning, and about using light for image formation with lenses and endoscopes.

1.
Which of the following radiation used in medical physics is ionising?
Ultrasound
X-ray
Both
Neither
Ionising radiation can damage the DNA within cells
2.
Which type of radiation is used to sterilise foods and medical equipment?
Alpha
Beta
Gamma
None of the above
The high energy of gamma rays is able to kill off bacteria which could cause illness or reduce the time a product stays fresh
3.
What does a CT scanner usually consist of?
An x-ray tube which continually rotates around your body
An x-fluorescent tube which continually rotates around your body
A gamma ray tube which continually rotates around your body
An x-ray tube which is placed above your body
This enables three-dimensional images of the patient to be built up
4.
Which of the following would be used to obtain an image of a person's bone structure?
Ultrasound
X-ray
Gamma ray
Beta radiation
X-rays do not pass through solids as easily as soft tissue
5.
Which type of lens would be used to correct long-sightedness?
Diverging
Plano-convex
Concave
Convex
The focal point in long-sightedness is behind the retina, using a convex lens in front of the eye's own lens shortens the focal length, bringing the light to a focus exactly on the retina
6.
What are possible dangers of using X-rays in medical physics?
Tissue damage
Mutations
Both
Neither
Radiographers need to be protected from the X-rays. Potentially, because they use the X-ray machine several times each day, they could be exposed to harmful amounts of radiation
7.
Which of the following is NOT an advantage of a CT scanner over an X-ray?
It provides a highly detailed image
It gives a higher dose of radiation
Can distinguish between bone and soft tissue
It gives a 3D image
A CT scan involves taking many images using X-rays so a greater dose of radiation passes through the patient
8.
Radioisotopes are used in medical imaging to view how the body is functioning, but how are radioisotopes selected to be used in this kind of imaging process?
Have a short half-life (hours)
Not emit alpha radiation
Emit gamma radiation
All of the above
When radioisotopes emit their radiation, we can detect the radiation with accurate detectors allowing us to track the path of the substance in the body
9.
Which of the following radiation used in medical physics is non-ionising?
Ultrasound
X-ray
Both
Neither
It can be used to examine a foetus as it will not harm its cells
10.
Which type of lens would be used to correct short-sightedness?
Convex
Concave
Converging
Plano-concave
In short sight, the lens of the eye bends the light too much so the focal point is in front of the retina. The use of a concave lens moves the focal point so that it is exactly on the retina and therefore the image is in focus
Author:  Martin Moore

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