Applied Radiation Physics Certificate Program

Departments of Physics and Radiology, University of Washington

UW linear

last updated: 12-Sep-2015

Intended Audience: Professionals who use radiation sources or radiation detectors in their work, and want to learn more about the basic science behind the tools and procedures they use; professionals or recent graduates who want to enhance their resumes to obtain employment in jobs where they may use radiation sources or detectors.

Admission requirements: Certificate program applicants with BS degrees in any science, math, or engineering
field will be accepted directly; others are advised to meet with the program coordinator before applying.

Cost: Tuition is approximately $2100 per course; see PCE website for detailed costs including fees. Certificate students earn three Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for each of the three courses, which must be taken in sequence. UW MS and GNM students earn 3 graduate credits.

Students matriculated in the Physics Evening MS Degree program may take any or all of the certificate classes as electives, for graduate credits to be applied to their degree requirements; they will be expected to do additional work beyond the level required for certificate students. Students in other science or engineering degree programs at UW must obtain permission of the program coordinator before registration. Matriculated students who complete the three course sequence will have Concentration in Applied Radiation Physics recorded on their transcript.
Course descriptions:
(some linked course websites may be for previous editions of classes: to be updated)

Autumn Quarter, 2015 (October - December, 2015):
PHYS 575, Physics of radiation and detectors (Prof. Jeffrey Wilkes, Dept. of Physics)
radioactivity, decay processes, interaction of radiation with matter, photodetectors, scintillation counters, gas detectors, counting statistics, data acquisition methods, detecting neutral particles, case studies of existing detectors. Hands-on lab sessions
including experiments using typical particle/nuclear physics hardware. Class website

Winter Quarter, 2016 (January - March, 2016):
PHYS 576, Nuclear physics: sources, detectors, and safety (Prof. Alejandro Garcia, Dept. of Physics)
Solid state detectors, radiation damage, radiation risks, particle accelerators, fission and fusion, reactors, radiation risk assessment, nuclear astrophysics. Hands-on lab sessions,
including tuning a beam through our own UW linear accelerator, and identifying nuclides from radiation spectra. Class website

Spring Quarter, 2016 (March - June, 2016): :
PHYS 428, Imaging Detectors for Medical and Health Sciences (Prof. Paul Kinahan, Dept. of Radiology)
Fundamental  concepts of medical imaging, image quality, x-ray imaging, gamma-ray imaging, CT, SPECT and PET imaging.
Students will visit medical imaging clinics (off hours) and perform experimental studies with phantoms. Class website

Prerequisites for all courses: at least undergraduate freshman-level physics or chemistry, and some advanced coursework typical of engineering or science majors; calculus, algebra and trigonometry. (Courses will include math

Program Coordinator:

Prof. R. Jeffrey Wilkes
Department of Physics
B303 Physics Astronomy Building,  (206) 543-4232

medical imaging

Faculty Profiles:

Prof. Alejandro Garcia
Physics PhD, 1991, University of Washington.
Postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (1991-1993); Assistant (1994), Associate (1999) and Full (2000) Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame.
Professor of Physics at the University of Washington since 2002.
Fellow of the American Physical Society since 2005.

Alejandro Garcia does research in experimental nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics. He does precision experiments in searches for new physics using the nucleus as a probe and also works on understanding nuclear reactions in stellar environments. He has co-authored about 70 papers in refereed journals and is co-author of the book Subatomic Physics with Ernest Henley.

Prof. Paul Kinahan, PhD, FIEE
Professor of Radiology
Adjunct Professor of Physics
Director, PET/CT Physics
Head, Imaging Research Laboraory
University of Washington

Paul Kinahan works in both clinical and advanced medical imaging methods in the University of Washington Medical Center. His research includes the physics of multi-modality medical imaging, the use of statistical image reconstruction methods, scanner optimization, and the use of quantitative analysis in oncology imaging. He received BASc and MASc in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia, and his PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. From there he became an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh where he was a member of the team that developed the first PET/CT scanner. In 1997 he was awarded the IEEE-NPSS Young Investigator Medical Imaging Science Career Award. In 2001 he moved to the University of Washington. He is past president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine Computer and Instrumentation Council and the American Board of Science in Nuclear Medicine. He is a member of the Science Council of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

Prof. R. Jeffrey Wilkes
BSE(EE), University of Michigan, 1967
PhD (Physics), University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1974
University of Washington, Department of Physics:
Research Associate, (1974-80), Senior Research Associate (1980-88), Research Associate Professor (1988-91), Research Professor (1991-2001), Kenneth K. Young Memorial Professor of Physics (2001-)

Jeffrey Wilkes has authored or co-authored over 100 papers in refereed journals, and served as editor for several published conference proceedings. His physics interests focus on high energy neutrino and cosmic-ray astrophysics, accelerator studies of neutrinos, and public outreach activities. He is a member of the Marine Technology Society, and holds US Patent 5,469,403, “Digital chirp sonar system”. He serves as a reviewer for agencies such as NASA, NSF, DOE, ARC (Australia) and NRC (Canada).  He has worked in international collaborations throughout his career, with colleagues in Japan, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Australia, and many other countries. In 1998, he was a co-recipient of the Asahi Science Prize (Japan). He is currently faculty coordinator for the UW Physics Evening MS Degree Program, and chairs the UW Faculty Council on Teaching and Learning.

... To be added.

under construction...Always under construction: revisit frequently.
All contents of this site (c) R. J. Wilkes, 2015.