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Introduction to Health Physics 3rd Edition

17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071054614
ISBN-10: 0071054618
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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 20081105 --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: 7.3 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,865,294 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Delvan Neville on 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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45 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Glenn A. Carlson, P.E. on October 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
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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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Russel O. Dunkelberger on August 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
I received my copy of the fourth edition of "Introduction to Health Physics" today and took a good look at it. Chapter two and three don't have a lot of substantial changes, but it looks like the rounding errors in the previous editions have been corrected. There are more homework problems in each chapter too.

Chapter four has a new section on accelerators, with a good explanation of each type. Chapter five again appears to have multiple numerical corrections made, and more homework problems. Chapter six (Radiation dosimetry) has more homework problems, and Chapter seven (Biological basis for radiation safety) has some sections on epidemiology now.

Chapter eight (Radiation safety guides) goes through ICRP 66, with an example for particulate and gasses. The examples for ICRP 66 calculations are clear, but it is obvious that calculating a lung dose with this technique will take a lot of paper!

It looks like there are a lot of updates to Chapter nine (Instrumentation), with more examples, but the photo of the neutron detection instrument is terrible. Again, more homework problems were added. (Makes me glad I am not a student anymore!)

I was glad to see that Chapter 10 (External radiation safety) has a section on NCRP 147. There are examples there too, and in my opinion the explanations and examples are better than the NCRP 147 examples.

Chapter 11 (Internal radiation safety) finally has a decent example with radon. The previous editions did not really have any calculations or examples, so it was good to see this addition. Chapter 12 on criticality remains relatively unchanged, but chapter 13 has new examples and more homework.

Chapter 14 has been expanded significantly.
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