P3 AQA GCSE- Medical applications of physics

(notes paraphrased from AQA Physics Revision Guide by Nelson Thomas)

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  • Created by: Nina
  • Created on: 04-04-13 11:52



  • Part of the electromagnetic spectrum; high frequency and short wavelength
  • Properties include:
  1. absorbed by metal/bone
  2. transmitted by healthy tissue
  3. similar affect to photos as light
  • They're used to form images of bones to show fractures or dental problems
  • CCDs can be used as electronic images or X-rays
  • CT scanners use X-rays to produce digital images of a cross-section in the body.
  • X-rays cause ionisation and may damage living tissue
  • X-rays can be used for therapy e.g. treating cancerous tumours
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  • Sound waves with a higher frequency than 20,000 Hz are called ultrasound waves
  • Ultrasound waves are partly reflected between two materials e.g. body tissue
  • Distance travelled by an ultrasound pulse can be calculated:

S (distance, m) =V (Speed, m/s) * T (time, s)

  • It cxan be used in medicene for scanning- non-ionising and so is safer than X-rays
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