Stockholm university
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Radiation Sources with Medical Applications

This course provides you with basic knowledge of nuclear physics as a basis for studies in radiation physics. Through theoretical and experimental work, knowledge of different radioactive sources is acquired, and different radioactive decay processes are carefully studied. The basic principles and function of particle accelerators are also covered.

The course gives an introduction to medical radiation physics and a general overview of the clinical applications of ionizing radiation. You will become familiar with the main radiation quantities and units, and achieve a basic understanding of the fundamental radiation interaction processes and dosimetric principles to be further explored in other courses in the Master`s Programme in Medical Physics.
You will learn about natural and artificial radioactivity, and study the different radioactive decay processes and the physical laws and principles describing the radioactive decay series. Particular attention is given to the interpretation of radioactive decay schemes to be used in problem-based exercises. You will also study the basic principles of particle accelerators as well as nuclear reactions, and fission and fusion processes.

The course includes classroom lectures, seminars, exercises in groups in class with the help of the teacher, as well as a radionuclide laboratory.

  • Course structure

    This is a basic course given during the daytime. The course is included in the Master’s program in Medical Physics.


    This course is divided in two parts.

    On part I, the following topics will be presented: introduction to radiation physics (classification of radiation, quantities, units, basic radiation interaction processes, dosimetric principles), basic principles for particle accelerators, electron-, proton- and ion accelerators, nuclear reactions and fission and fusion processes

    On part II, the following topics will be presented: general laws of radioactivity, radioactive decay processes, radioactive decay series and production of radioactive nuclei.

    Teaching format

    The education consists of lectures, seminars and calculation exercises as well as a laboratory exercise. Active participation of the students in the education is achieved through exercises and seminars.

    The course can be given in English.


    The course is examined through seminars and a written exam.


    Marta Lazzeroni


  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    • Krane, Kenneth S: Introductory Nuclear Physics. John Wiley & Sons New York 1988
    • Podgorsak E B: Radiation physics for Medical Physicists. Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York. 2005
    • Karzmark, C J Morton: A primer on theory and operation of linear accelerators in radiation therapy Medical Physics Publishing Wisconsin 1998
  • Course reports

  • More information

    When can I apply?

    Registration is open from mid-March to mid-April for courses that run in the fall, and from mid-September to mid-October for courses that run in the spring.

    Please note that many courses open for late registration in mid-July for courses in the autumn term and in mid-December for courses in the spring term.

    Read our step by step guide on how to apply

  • Contact

    Course coordinator and teacher:
    Marta Lazzeroni, e-mail:

    Marta Lazzeroni
    Fredrik Hellberg, e-mail:

    Problem solving sessions:

    Filippo Schiavo, e-mail:


    Laboratory supervisor:
    Tomas Palmqvist, e-mail:


    Academic advisor at the Department of Physics:

    Student office: