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Introduction to Health Physics [Paperback]

Herman Cember
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Introduction to Health Physics: Fourth Edition Introduction to Health Physics: Fourth Edition 4.2 out of 5 stars (8)
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Book Description

January 1, 1996 0071054618 978-0071054614 3
This edition continues to provide students with a basic understanding of the biophysical bases of radiation, radiation safety standards, and the key factors in radiation protection. Now includes new coverage of non-ionizing radiation-laser and microwaves, computer use in dose calculation and dose limit recommendations. Emphasizes a problem-solving approach that will serve students into their clinical careers.

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Editorial Reviews


"Overall, this is a good introductory health physics book for students in health and medical physics and could be used as a study guide and reference by health and medical physicists. The fourth edition has improvements and updates over the third edition, including the addition of NCRP 147 shielding methodology and ICRP 66 respiratory tract dosimetric model, the discussion of machine sources of radiation, and a revamped chapter on non-ionizing radiation."--Doody's Review Service (Doody's 2008-11-05) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 731 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Medical; 3 edition (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071054618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071054614
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,054,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Health Physics without the physics October 18, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as a required text when I was still an undergrad, for a class in Radiation Protection. It's peppered with initial equations that are thumb-rules, and I'm not just talking about the well known empirical thumb rules like ZE/800 = (dE/dx) rad/ (dE/dx) col

Here's an example:

If you want to find the specific activity of a nuclide, Cember uses the definition of the Curie to cancel a couple constants (ln(2) and Na) and instead include a second GAW and half-life to look-up or memorize. (GAW of Radium * Half-life of Radium) / (GAW of the nuclide * Half-life of the nuclide) = Activity (in Ci/g)

Other authors of health physics texts, like Schultis & Faw or Martin, define the activity as decay constant * Avagadro's number / gram atomic weight = Activity (in disintegrations per unit time per gram, where the time is in whatever unit you used for the decay constant. Use seconds to get activity in Bq).

Cember's formula is useful for back-of-the-envelope problems as it's easier to do without a calculator (e.g. if you haven't memorized ln(2) to a few sig figs). However, the other formula is the actual definition of specific activity. If you know what specific activity means, you can probably come up with that formula by simply writing out the mathematical equivalent of the definition.

If you're a student, and this is the text book for your class, grab it for sure. Many of the formulae you'll see in lecture (assuming your lectures are derived from this text) won't look the same in an alternate text that starts with proper physical laws.
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43 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New edition marred by typos and awkward editing October 31, 1998
This new edition of the classic text is a disappointment, and it's use as a textbook is not recommended.
For this 3d edition, the list of typographical errors compiled by colleagues and myself stands at four pages and growing. Errors can be found in the text, the chapter problems, and their solutions. Other solutions which are not clearly wrong may inexplicably differ from your own solution at the second significant digit.
Formulae are rarely derived from first principles. One exception is the change in wavelength for a photon undergoing Compton scattering from an electron, but, even here, a crucial equation (the relativistic energy invariant) is conspicuously omitted, without which the final equation cannot be derived. The text does not even mention relativity in discussing Compton scattering. (The index does reference "Relatively effects" (sic) at pp. 4-11.)
Equations and formulae contain, at times, an unnecessary proliferation of multiplication signs and units which obscures the underlying physical principles and the simplicity of the equations themselves. Students are better served by a clear mathematical presentation of the underlying physics, rather than being dropped into the middle of an obscure equation made even more so by the inclusion of several constants whose only purpose is to make the units work out. While any text on this subject must deal with the unavoidability of old and new units, my suggestion is to derive the formulae from first principles and deal with the units issue (which, after all, only amounts to including appropriate conversion factors) separately as examples or chapter problems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice presentation June 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dr. Cember does an excellent job in his book presenting the subject matter. There are a lot of well thought out problems that help in understanding the material. I've worked in radiation protection and health physics for 40 years and this is an excellent text and reference. Highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Health Physics Textbook September 21, 2008
The fourth edition of Introduction to Health Physics by Herman Cember and Thomas Johnson is a 21st century update to the classic Health Physics text. The new edition expands on the third edition with a content update, more problems, plus modern tables and graphics for better readability.

Chapter 4 On Radiation Sources has been expanded to include an extensive discussion on Machine Sources of Radiation. This new section covers X-Ray Tubes, Linear Accelerators, and Cyclotrons. Chapter 14 on Nonionizing Radiation Safety has been revamped. The chapter is a great help to health physicists needing to expand their skills in dealing with laser and ultraviolet radiation safety issues.

One of the text's strong points is the extensive problem set at the end of each chapter. Diligently working through all of the problems in this text is a prerequisite to passing both Parts I and II of the Comprehensive Certification in Health Physics Exam. The fourth edition of Introduction to Health Physics is a good addition to the libraries of both practicing Health Physicists and students.
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