Physics of Radiology

Author:  Anthony B. Wolbarst
ISBN:  9780944838952
Published:  1993 | 461 pp. | Hardcover



Doody's Review Service  |  Med. Phys. 36 (3), March 2009


This text is the second edition by the author and is a significantly enhanced offering covering all aspects of physics of radiology in detail and with an increase of over 150 pages.


The stated purpose of the book is to serve as a text for radiology residents in their study of the physics of medical imaging and as an aid to other medical practitioners with a desire to explore medical imaging. With the continuing advancement of technology in radiology, such a text serves a vital role.


In addition to being a reference for radiology residents, there is a great measure of material (and exercises) in the text that would be useful for scientists and engineers in related medical physics or engineering courses. The author is not afraid to present mathematical concepts and employs appendixes in different sections as aids. However, the material is presented in such a way that one can go through the material without getting "bogged" down in the math, but for those interested in further insights, the necessary information is provided.


The revised edition can be arranged into three primary sections. The first is a short overview of the subject providing the casual reader a good overview of the field. The second part provides the scientific, technical, and mathematical basis on the different aspects of medical imaging. The third section is an in-depth exploration of all the different imaging modalities, standard x ray (including mammography), fluoroscopy, digital x ray and angiography, nuclear (SPECT and PET), ultrasound, CT, MRI, and radiation effects and safety. Although the book is designed to carry an individual from an initial glimpse to further detail, it is possible to go to a section of interest in the "third" section and find it quite complete within itself. References to useful background material in previous chapters are given. In addition, 21 notable individuals are collaborators on different chapters, further increasing the breadth of knowledge.


The author has an engaging style and the "aside" comments keep the work "light." The historical background in various sections is engaging and informative. The book was published in 2005; thus, the material relates to the field circa 2004. However, the author and collaborators have done a good job in anticipating technology that is common today. Understandably, sections were carried over from the first edition (1993), but several instances were noted in which updates and corrections would have been useful. In at least one instance, the quality of a reproduction made it difficult to appreciate the teaching point on the image. However, a wealth of knowledge is presented through words and excellent illustrations, and the work will be of interest to residents, graduate students, and medical physicists.

Michael Yester, Ph.D.

Head of the Physics and Engineering Division of Radiology

University of Alabama-Birmingham