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Interaction of Ionizing Radiation with Matter

  • 9 credits

This course provides you with the theoretical and experimental knowledge of the fundamental interaction processes of ionizing radiation with matter. The knowledge is applied in radiation therapy, diagnostics and radiation protection. You will also acquire basic knowledge of the Monte Carlo method and its application in the medical radiation physics field.

In this course, you will gain theoretical and practical knowledge on the absorption and scattering of charged and uncharged particles in matter. In addition to studying the transmission of radiation through matter, you will also learn about the secondary particles that are consequently produced. Cross sections describing the probability of different interaction processes in various materials are studied and numerically derived. You will become autonomous in the navigation and interpretation of tabulated data for practical use in problem-based exercises related to medical radiation physics applications.

Moreover, a general overview of the Monte Carlo method is included in the course. A particular focus is put on the calculation of radiation transmission and energy deposition in the medium, and its applications in medical radiation physics. You will also write your own Monte Carlo code using a software of your preference to accomplish a given task.
The course includes classroom lectures, seminars, exercises in class with the help of the teacher, as well as a Monte Carlo exercise and three laboratories related to alpha, beta and gamma radiation interaction in the matter.


  • Course structure

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

    Teaching format

    The education consists of lectures, seminars and calculation exercises as well as a Monte Carlo exercise and three laboratory exercises on alpha-, beta-, and gamma particle interaction in matter. 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 a written exam.


    During the autumn 2020



    José Maria Fernandez-Varea, email:
    Marta Lazzeroni, email:
    Niels Bassler, email:

    Laboratory assistant:

    Wille Häger, email:
    Fredrik Kalholm, email:

  • Course literature

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

    Podgorsak E B: Radiation physics for Medical Physicists. Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York. 2005

  • Contact

    Academic advisor at the Department of Physics: