Teaching about the physics of medical imaging

Dean Zollman, Dyan McBride, Sytil Murphy, Bijaya Aryal, Spartak Kalita, Johannes V.D. Wirjawan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Even before the discovery of X-rays, attempts at non-invasive medical imaging required an understanding of fundamental principles of physics. Students frequently do not see these connections because they are not taught in beginning physics courses. To help students understand that physics and medical imaging are closely connected, we have developed a series of active learning units. For each unit we begin by studying how students transfer their knowledge from traditional physics classes and everyday experiences to medical applications. Then, we build instructional materials to take advantage of the students' ability to use their existing learning and knowledge resources. Each of the learning units involves a combination of hands-on activities, which present analogies, and interactive computer simulations. Our learning units introduce students to the contemporary imaging techniques of CT scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and wavefront aberrometry. The project's web site is http://web.phys.ksu.edu/mmmm/.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Physics Education, ICPE-2009
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Physics Education, ICPE-2009 - Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: Oct 18 2009Oct 24 2009

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


ConferenceInternational Conference on Physics Education, ICPE-2009


  • CT scans
  • MRI
  • Teaching
  • eye
  • imaging
  • medical
  • optics
  • physics


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