Physics of Radiology

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



American Journal of Roentgenology  |  September 1994

American Journal of Roentgenology September 1994 "This text is even more extensive than the number of pages implies. The 461 full-quarto pages (91/2 x 12 in. [24 x 30 cm]) are printed in modern 10-pitch font in double columns. The material is highly organized; 365 sections, ranging from a few paragraphs to several pages each, are formed into 48 chapters. The chapters are grouped into parts that in turn are assembled to form segments. "The first segment, the introduction, opens with a chapter sketching and comparing radiography, fluoroscopy, digital subtraction angiography, CT, single-photon computed tomography, positron emission tomography, MR imaging, and sonography. It also outlines the background of a department of digital imaging. The segment continues with a more detailed but still introductory consideration of classical radiography, which is the most frequently used technique and a stepping-stone for explaining the others. "The second segment, the ‘Scientific Foundation,' contains 15 chapters grouped into three parts" ‘Energy and Matter.' ‘Production of X-rays,' and ‘Interaction of X-rays with Matter.' "Having established the relevant background, the author moves on to a third segment, ‘Analog X-ray Imaging.' This segment is composed of 17 chapters grouped into three parts: ‘The Formation of a Radiographic Image,' ‘Other Analog X-ray Imaging Modalities,' and ‘Dose, Biological Effects, and Radiation Protection.' The final segment, ‘Digital Imaging,' contains 13 chapters grouped into five parts: ‘Digital X-ray Imaging,' ‘Gamma Ray Imaging,' ‘Magnetic Resonance Imaging,' ‘Ultrasound Imaging,' and 'Computer-Based Image handling Networks.' "The text is lavishly illustrated: 514 black-and-white figures and 72 tables. The book has a bibliography of about 90 references, a glossary of the symbols used, and an index of about 2000 entries. The text is generously interspersed with worked examples; most elucidate the meaning of mathematical expressions used. Appendixes review relevant aspects of selected functions, probability, and statistics. "Cross-referencing between sections and chapters is accurate, and the presentation is remarkably uniform from beginning to end. The writing style is relaxed, yet conveys the author's own excitement with this ‘dazzling, cutting edge technology.' Although he wrote the book outside normal business hours while employed full-time, no patchwork of dated material is visible. The book is a pleasure to read. I stand in awe. "The text is directed primarily to physicians who are taking radiology-related courses or who wish to understand the science and technology underlying the imaging procedures they use or request for their patients. Another likely group of readers is physicists or engineers who are seeking a qualitative overview of the basics of medical imaging. The underlying didactic philosophy is that of the school of introduction, elaboration of details, further elaboration, and then extension of concepts to other areas. The author's rationale is that with this approach, readers acquire an increasingly sophisticated vocabulary and a broader frame of reference with minimal cultural shock. I think he has succeeded. "The book has remarkably few errors or misprints. The figures, including the radiographs and CT scans, are clearly reproduced. A few of the graphs need clearer labeling as to whether the scales are linear or logarithmic, and some groups of figures need adjustment to be internally consistent. These are not problems for an alert reader. The references listed are books and reports rather than original papers and are not cited in the text. This is the flip side of the scarcity of dated material. Other books address a similar audience, but I think that Physics of Radiology covers more subjects, or as many in more detail, than several others that have passed through numerous editions. "This is not a book of hands-on techniques; rather it provides a way of understanding the physical basis of the evolution of radiologic procedures. It would be a find text for a course in general science; the illustrations of its applications are very real world. Teachers in a radiology department will appreciate the didactic potential of the figures. Residents will find the book excellent for self-instruction; it is a good qualitative introduction to radiologic physics."

Peter Wootton
University of Washington Medical Center
Seattle, WA 98195
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Administrative Radiology Journal
January 1996
"The author states in the Preface that this book is written primarily for radiology residents and medical students