Radiation and Medicine

This guide, from triple science support, provides practical advice and guidance to enhance and enrich the teaching of the electromagnetic spectrum using the context of medical physics. Most students are engaged by the ideas that medicine brings to the curriculum so this guide can be used as a tool to raise aspirations through enthusiasm for real life applications of science. You might like to try some of the activities in this guide when delivering the following aspects of the GCSE curriculum.

Light and electromagnetic waves:

  • Interactions of electromagnetic radiation with matter and their applications: give examples of some practical uses of electromagnetic waves, visible, X-ray and gamma-ray regions and describe how X-rays and gamma-rays can have hazardous effects, notably on human bodily tissues.
  • Lenses: use ray diagrams to illustrate reflection, refraction and the similarities and differences between convex and concave lenses (qualitative only).
  • Hazards and uses of radioactive emissions and of background radiation; explain why the hazards associated with radioactive material differ according to the half-life involved.
  • Describe the different uses of nuclear radiations for exploration of internal organs, and for control or destruction of unwanted tissue.

This is one of a suite of guides which provide a full range of suggestions for effective enhancement and enrichment activities which can be incorporated into the scheme of work, and these can be found on the triple science support enhancement and enrichment webpage. The guides include: FieldworkGenomics - using a researcher in the classroom, STEM AmbassadorsChemistry at Work, Faraday ChallengesAstrobiology, and Careers.

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Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.


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This resource is part of Triple science support