Medical Physics Teaching Materials for Schools

Index to images

This page acts as an index to the images included on the CD. You can see the full size images by clicking on the images on this page. You can also access the images directly using Windows Explorer. Movies and copies of all the slides can be found by browsing the CD. For more documentation, see the Teachers' Workbook.


Radiation physics

Ventilation/perfusion scan. This involves two tests which may be done together or separately. The patient is injected with a radioactive drug which remains in the bloodstream around the lungs. An image of the distribution of this drug (in brown) shows the blood perfusion in the lungs. This should be uniform. A light area may show a blockage where the blood is not adequately perfusing the lung. The second test is a ventilation scan, where the patient breathes radioactive xenon or krypton gas. This image (in green) shows those parts of the lungs which are adequately ventilated. Combining both scans allows a doctor to work out whether the lung is functioning properly, and allows operations to be designed so as to reduce long-term damage.

An image and a movie of a whole-body scan, obtained using a radiopharmaceutical labelled with technetium-99m which collects in the bones. Also a movie showing a kidney, processed by computer so that it can be seen in 3D.

Images from Elekta, a manufacturer of radiotherapy equipment. The first image shows their new linear accelerator, for radiotherapy treatment, and the other two show medical physicists planning a treatment using the latest software.

A radiotherapy simulator. This is a suite of machines which look the same as a linear accelerator used for radiotherapy treatment, but which is used to plan the treatment precisely. The second picture shows laser lights used to ensure the patient is properly aligned.

Images showing a lead-lined syringe used to inject radioisotopes. The radiopharmaceutical is drawn up into a syringe shielded with lead and its dose checked before it is injected into the patient.

A radiation contamination monitor.

Thyroid scan. The thyroid is a gland in the neck which can be overactive, underactive, or can develop a cancer. The thyroid is the only organ which processes iodine, so an injection of radioactive iodine (obtained from the pot shown, and injected using lead-lined syringes) can indicate the activity of the thyroid (as shown in the image on the left). A larger dose of radioactive iodine can destroy a thyroid tumour.

A PET scan. The photographs show a patient receiving a PET scan. The third image is a movie of a whole-body PET scan. The PET scan on the right has been superimposed on an X-ray CT image (grey/blue on slide). In this way, doctors get the benefit of high contrast from the PET scan and good spatial resolution from the CT image.

These movies show different slices throught the same PET image (click on the image to see the movies). In both movies, the kidneys can be seen clearly and the liver can just be discerned. The heart and tumours stand out, and the lungs are dark areas where there is no radioactivity.

X-rays of the hand. On the left is the first x-ray, taken in 1895. On the right is a modern equivalent.

A range of x-ray images: a CT slice through the abdomen, volume rendered CT images of the pelvis and the foot, and a mammogram (x-ray image of the breast).


Pictures of ultrasound scanners.

A foetus at 8, 18 and 24 weeks (of a 40 week pregnancy).

Surface rendered ultrasound images. These ultrasound images have been processed by computer to show the surface of the baby in 3D.

Colour Doppler images showing blood flow in the carotid artery. Both the image and the Doppler data of the healthy carotid artery are clean and smooth as the smooth walled vessels lead to laminar flow. The partially blocked carotid artery causes turbulent floe, as seen from the red and blue regions in the Doppler image (blood flow towards and away from the probe).

More ultrasound images showing a cross-section through the heart, and the muscles in the lips. In the presentations, both these movies.

Magnetic resonance imaging

MRI scanners

MRI images and movies of the brain.

This is a functional MRI image which shows both the structure of the brain, and those parts of the brain which are active when the patient moves his or her left finger.

A movie of a whole-body MRI scan.


A pulse oximeter showing the heart rate (81 beats per minute) and oxygenation of the finger (99%), and an image of a child having a near infrared spectroscopy examination of her brain activity when she observes a flashing checkerboard on a screen.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) being used to treat Bowen's disease (a kind of skin cancer).

Blue light treatment of jaundice in babies

Scanning laser ophthalmoscope. This uses blue laser light to image the back of the eye (the retina).


Endoscopy, showing photographs and an x-ray image of an endoscope.

Images taken using an endoscope, showing a hernia (left), a worm (centre) and a polyp (right).


Thermogram of a child's face and a leg with poor circulation.

Thermogram of the hands of a normal patient (left) and a patient with Raynaud's syndrome, which is a problem with the circulation in the fingers and toes (right).

This shows a thermogram overlaid onto a normal photograph taken with visible light.


Photograph of a patient who had been paralysed in a road traffic accident. A device which stimulates nerves has been implanted into her spine, enabling her to ride a tricycle.

Computer simulation of the effect of using a mobile phone on head temperature.