In the second in our series of articles by NUI Galway researchers, School of Physics Lecturer Dr. Rebekah D’Arcy, writes about the ever evolving world of Medical Physics.
Physics in Real Life – Medical Physics
Hippocrates (460-377 BC), who is known as the “Father of Western Medicine”, may have been the first medical physicist. Over two thousand years ago, in order to locate where an infection was located, he would smear mud over a patient’s back, knowing that infected tissue is warmer and would therefore dry the mud faster. Technology has improved a lot since then and modern thermography, which looks at heat coming from the body using an infrared camera, is very different from Hippocrates’ methods.
In fact modern medical physics uses techniques which sound like they come straight from a science fiction movie.