Radiation Physics
RADT 111
Chapter 1
Basic Mathematics
Arithmetic
Fractions
A fraction is a ratio of two numbers . The fraction bar means the operation of division.
=
Mixed numbers and improper fractions:
This is a mixed number  .
This is an improper fraction  .
In the long run improper fractions are easier to work with then mixed numbers. The way to change a mixed number into an improper fraction is to take the integer in front of the fraction and multiply it by the denominator then add it to the numerator. This number is now your new numerator. The denominator remains the same.
Example 1:
For the mixed number above, , you would take then add and finally the new fraction would be .
Now we look at the four operations on fractions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Addition and Subtraction of Fractions:
Lets start with addition and subtraction.
The biggest thing to remember about adding and subtracting fractions is that the fraction must have the same denominator before you can add or subtract them.
Example 2:
We will add the following fractions together:
First we need to decide what the common denominator should be to add the fractions. One way to find the common denominator is to multiply the two denominators together. Which for this example is . So we need to have both denominators be 12. We need to multiply the first fraction, numerator and denominator, by 3. The second fraction needs to be multiplied by to get a denominator of 12.
Then the new fractions are:
Now we add the numerators together and put that answer over the denominator.
Example 3:
Subtract the following fractions:
The common denominator is 21.
Now we subtract the numerators:
Example 4:
Add the following fractions:
A common denominator is 18, but the least common denominator is 6.
Here is a link to an enhanced podcast on adding and subtracting fractions.
Podcast on Adding and Subtracting Fractions
Multiplication and Division of Fractions:
When we multiply fraction we multiply the numerators together and multiply the denominators together, we then reduce to lowest terms.
Example 5:
Multiply the following fractions:
This fraction cannot be reduced.
Example 6:
Multiply the following fractions:
This fraction can be reduced before the multiplication:
Then multiply just like the previous example:
This process is called cross cancelling before multiplying.
When dividing fractions the most common algorithm is to take the reciprocal of the second fraction and then multiply the fractions as above. The reason this works is illustrated below:
Example 7:
Divide the following fractions:
First we take the reciprocal of the second fraction, then multiply:
Here is a link to an enhanced podcast on mulitipling and dividing fractions.
Podcast on Multiplying and Dividing Fractions
Decimals
Converting Fractions to Decimals
When converting from a fraction to a decimal, the fraction bar means division. You may either divide by long division or with a calculator.
Example 8:
Convert into a decimal.
If the denominator is a power of 10, then the decimal equivalent can be found by moving the decimal point the number of zeros in the denominator.
Example 9:
Significant Figures
Rules for determining whether zeros are significant figures
1. Zeros between other nonzero digits are significant.
2. Zeros in front of nonzero digits are not
significant.
3. Zeros that are at the end of a number and
also to the right of the decimal point are significant.
4. Zeros at the end of a number but to the left
of a decimal are significant if they have been measured or are the first estimated
digit; otherwise, they are not significant.
Rules for calculating with significant figures
Type of Calculation  Rule 
Addition or Subtraction  The final answer should have the same number of digits to the right of the decimal as the measurement with the smallest number of digits to the right of the decimal. 
Multiplication or Division  The final answer has the same number of significant figures as the measurement having the smallest number of significant figures. 
Example 10:
Using the rules above we need to round to the tenth place since that is the least precise measurement. So the final answer would be 250.7.
Example 11:
Using the rules above we see that the first number has 5 significant figures and the second number has 3. Therefore, we need 3 significant figures in our answer. So the final answer is 15.5.
Scientific Notation
When very large or very small numbers are used in Physics it is convenient to use scientific notation.
Example 12:
To write the number 9192631700 in scientific notation it you count the number of decimal places so that the decimal is to the right of the last number on the left. So the answer would be .
Example 13:
If the number is very small for example 0.0000000000000000001602 C then the exponent is negative. This number is .
Podcast on Scientific Notation
Dimensional Analysis
Convert the following:
Example 14:
15 inches to yards
Example 15:
60 miles/hour to feet/second
Podcast on Dimensional Analysis
Algebra
Absolute Value – The absolute value can be regarded as the distance of a number from zero.
Integers
Example 16:
Example 17:
Order of Operations
1. Perform all operations inside grouping symbols
2. Exponents
3. Multiplication and Division from the left
4. Addition and Subtraction from the left
Example 18:
Podcast on Order of Operations
Algebraic Expressions
Example 19:
Exponents
When you use exponents in problems you have to follow rules when multiplying and dividing numbers that use exponents.
When you multiply numbers with exponents you add the exponents:
When you divide numbers with exponents you subtract the exponents:
When you have a power raised to a power you multiply the exponents:
Example 20:
Evaluating Algebraic Expressions
Example 21:
Evaluate the following expression if a = 5, b = 3, and c = 2.
Equations
Example 22:
Solve the following equation for x.
Variation
Direct Variation –When two variable quantities have a constant (unchanged) ratio, their relationship is called a direct variation. It is said that one variable "varies directly" as the other. The constant ratio is called the constant of variation.
The general equation for direct variation is y = kx.
Inverse Variation – A relationship between two variables in which the product is a constant. When one variable increases the other decreases in proportion so that the product is unchanged.
The general equation for inverse variation is .
Units of Measurement
SI Units of Measurement
Base Units  
Quantity  Unit Name  Symbol 
Mass  kilogram  kg 
Length  meter  m 
Time  second  s 
Electric Current  ampere  A 
Temperature  kelvin  K 
Amount of Substance  mole  mol 
Luminous Intensity  candela  cd 
Derived Units  
Quantity  Unit Name  Symbol  British Units 
Absorbed Dose  gray  Gy  rad 
Charge  coulomb  C  esu 
Electric Potential  volt  v  
Dose Equivalent  sievert  Sv  rem 
Energy  joule  J  erg 
Exposure  coulomb/kilogram  C/kg  roentgen 
Frequency  hertz  Hz  cycles/second 
Force  newton  N  
Magnetic Flux  weber  Wb  
Magnetic Flux Density  tesla  T  gauss 
Power  watt  W  
Radioactivity  bequerel  Bq  curie 
Metric Prefixes
Factor 
Prefix 
Symbol 
yotta 
Y 

zetta 
Z 

exa 
E 

peta 
P 

tera 
T 

giga 
G 

mega 
M 

kilo 
k 

hecto 
h 

deka 
da 

deci 
d 

centi 
c 

milli 
m 

micro 
µ 

nano 
n 

pico 
p 

femto 
f 

atto 
a 

zepto 
z 

yocto 
y 
The Prefixes that you need to know are the ones with the yellow background.
Commonly Used SI Prefixes
Unit  Symbol  Meaning 

kilovolt  kV 

centimeter  cm 

milliampere  mA 

milligray  mGy 

nanosecond  ns 
Terminology for Radiology
Units in Radiology – Customary Units
Roentgen: A basic unit of measurement
of the ionization produced in air by gamma or xrays. One Roentgen (R) is exposure
to gamma or xrays that will produce one electrostatic unit of charge in one
cubic centimeter of dry air.
It is a measure of the ionizations of the molecules in a mass of air. The main
advantage of this unit is that it is easy to measure directly, but it is limited
because it is only for deposition in air, and only for gamma and x rays.
rad: A unit of measurement of any kind of radiation absorbed by humans. This relates to the amount of energy actually absorbed in some material, and is used for any type of radiation and any material. The unit rad can be used for any type of radiation, but it does not describe the biological effects of the different radiations. One rad is equal to the absorption of 100 ergs of radiation energy per gram of material.
rem: The roentgen equivalent man or rem is the unit of effective radiation dose. The rem is a unit used to derive a quantity called equivalent dose. This relates the absorbed dose in human tissue to the effective biological damage of the radiation. Not all radiation has the same biological effect, even for the same amount of absorbed dose. Equivalent dose is often expressed in terms of thousandths of a rem, or mrem. To determine equivalent dose (rem), you multiply absorbed dose (rad) by a quality factor (Q) that is unique to the type of incident radiation.
curie: The original unit used to describe the intensity of radioactivity in a sample of material. One curie equals thirtyseven billion (37,000,000,000) disintegrations per second, or approximately the radioactivity of one gram of radium.
Units of Radiology – SI Units
Air Kerma: air kerma means kerma in a given mass of air. The unit used to measure the quantity of air kerma is the Gray (Gy). For Xrays with energies less than 300 kiloelectronvolts (keV), 1 Gy = 100 rad. In air, 1 Gy of absorbed dose is delivered by 114 roentgens (R) of exposure. Kerma means the sum of the initial energies of all the charged particles liberated by uncharged ionizing particles in a material of given mass.
Gray: radiation energy deposited in material divided by the mass of the material. An oftenused unit for absorbed dose is the gray (Gy). One gray is equal to one joule of energy deposited in one kg of a material. The unit gray can be used for any type of radiation, but it does not't describe the biological effects of the different radiations. Absorbed dose is often expressed in terms of hundredths of a gray, or centigrays. One gray is equivalent to 100 rads. (gray=Gy=J/kg)
Seivert: When absorbed dose is adjusted to account for the amount of biological damage a particular type of radiation causes, it is known as dose equivalent. This relates the absorbed dose in human tissue to the effective biological damage of the radiation. Not all radiation has the same biological effect, even for the same amount of absorbed dose. Equivalent dose is often expressed in terms of millionths of a sievert, or microsievert. To determine equivalent dose (Sv), you multiply absorbed dose (Gy) by a quality factor (Q) that is unique to the type of incident radiation. One sievert is equivalent to 100 rem. The SI unit for dose equivalent is called the seivert (Sv).
Becquerel: The unit of radioactive decay equal to 1 disintegration per second. Often radioactivity is expressed in larger units like: thousands (kBq), one millions (MBq) or even billions (GBq) of a becquerels. 37 billion () becquerels = 1 curie (Ci)
End of Chapter 1 Lecture Notes