2019 Basic Nuclear Engineering 4

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering
Matsumoto Yoshihisa 
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Course description and aims

This class teaches the basics of radiation and its biological effects. It starts from the physical basis of radiation: what are alpha-ray, beta-ray, gamma-ray, X-ray etc and how their quantities are expressed. Next we learn the source and quantity of natural radiation exposure. Then we learn biological effects of radiation and its relationship to radiation dose. Finally we learn use of radiation in medical field and principles of safety use.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this class, student will be able to:
1) Explain the types and properties of radiations and how they are emitted or generated,
2) Explain the quantity and unit of radiation,
3) Explain the source and quantity of natural radiation exposure,
4) Explain the relationship between radiation dose and biological effects,
5) Explain how radiation is applied in the medical diagnosis and therapeutics,
6) Explain basic principles of safety use of radiation.


Radiation, Radioactivity, Biological effect, Cancer radiotherapy.

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Class will be proceeded based on course materials on OCW-i. Students will be given an assignment (homework) to check the learning in each class.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 What is radiation? Understand what are alpha-ray, beta-ray, gamma-ray, X-ray, etc. and how they are emitted or generated.
Class 2 How much is radiation? Understand the quantity and units for radioactivity and radiation.
Class 3 What and how much is the radiation around us? Understand the source and quantity of our natural radiation exposure.
Class 4 What are the effects of radiation on us? (1) Deterministic effects Understand the deterministic effects of radiation and their thresholds.
Class 5 What are the effects of radiation on us? (2) Stochastic effects Understand the stochastic effects (i.e., cancer and hereditary effects) and their relationship with radiation dose.
Class 6 How radiation is used in medical diagnosis and therapeutics? Under stand the principles of diagnostic use of radiation (e.g., PET and CT) and therapeutic use of radiation (e.g., IMRT, particle therapy).
Class 7 How do we protect us from radiation? Understand how to protect us from external and internal exposure and also the regulations for the safety use of radiation.
Class 8 Final examination and summary


None assigned.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Class materials will be uploaded on OCW-i.
Reference book: Hall EJ and Giaccia AJ. Radiobiology for the Radiologist, seventh edition. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Assessment criteria and methods

Assignment (50%) and Examination (50%).

Related courses

  • NCL.B401 : Radiation Biology and Medicine
  • TSE.A337 : Basic Nuclear Engineering 1
  • TSE.A338 : Basic Nuclear Engineering 2

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Basic knowledge on physics, chemistry and biology.

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