Optics and Radiation in Medicine

5 ECTS / Semi-annual / English

Objectives and competences

The learning of Optics will have as objectives the acquisition of basic concepts in wave and geometric optics, acquisition of basic notions about lasers and optical fibres, and also applications of optics in Medicine. In Radiation Physics it will be the acquisition of the concepts on the interaction of radiation with Matter, distinction of different radiation-based diagnostic methods, identification of different types of diagnostic equipment and understanding of radiation-related risks and safety measures

Expected Outcomes:
In Optics it is intended that the student can identify and understand the basic optical principles involved in different strands of medical diagnosis and therapy. In Radiation Physics it is intended that the student understands the main fundaments of the different types of radiations and its applications; to perform dosimetries and to have knowledge about the necessary precautions for the handling of radiation emitting equipment.


Teaching Methodologies

The course unit will be divided into 27 hours of theoretical lessons and 12 hours of practical lessons.

Theoretical classes:
Exposure of programmatic content using multimedia, including presentation of slides and computer simulations.
Presentation of Internet sites where students can complement their knowledge.
Active participation of students in lectures to discuss the topics covered.

Theoretical-practical classes:
Problem-solving classes and exercises about the subjects taught in the lectures.
Practical demonstrations and multimedia about optics concepts covered in the lectures.



  1. Introduction to the course of Optics and Radiation in Medicine
  2. Fundamentals of wave optics: electromagnetic wave concept, reflection and refraction, light propagation in optical fibers and applications.
  3. Fundamentals of Geometrical Optics: plane and spherical mirrors, thick and thin lenses, human eye, vision disorders and compensation lenses.
  4. Lasers in Medicine: principles and fundamentals, types of lasers, radiation-matter interaction, lasers safety classification, lasers applications in Medicine.
  5. Radiation in Medicine I: fundamental physical principles, types of radiation, radiation-matter interaction, diagnostic radiology.
  6. Radiation in Medicine II: Nuclear Medicine and Nuclear Imaging - physical concepts and principles of operation.
  7. Radiation in Medicine III: Ultrasonography and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance - physical concepts and principles of operation.
  8. Radiation in Medicine IV: biological effects of radiation, dosimetry, radiation safety and protection.


Invited Professor
Susana Silva is graduated in Applied Physics from the University of Porto, Portugal. She received the Ph.D. degree in Physics at the University of Porto…