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Introduction to Health Physics: Fourth Edition [Kindle Edition]

Thomas E. Johnson , Herman Cember
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £65.99
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Book Description

A dynamic, all-inclusive overview of the field of health physics

If it's an important topic in the field of health physics, you'll find it in this trusted text . . . in sections on physical principles, atomic and nuclear structure, radioactivity, biological effects of radiation, and instrumentation. This one-of-a-kind guide spans the entire scope of the field and offers a problem-solving approach that will serve you throughout your career.

Features:

  • A thorough overview of need-to-know topics, from a review of physical principles to a useful look at the interaction of radiation with matter
  • Chapter-ending practice problems to solidify your grasp of health physics topics and their real-world application
  • Essential background material on quantitative risk assessment for health-threatening radiation dangers
  • Authoritative radiation safety and environmental health coverage that supports the International Commission on Radiological Protection's standards for specific populations
  • High-yield appendices to expand your comprehension of chapter material: Values of Some Useful Constants, Table of the Elements, The Reference Person, Specific Absorbed Fraction of Photon Energy, and Total Mass Attenuation Coefficients
  • NEW! Essential coverage of non-ionizing radiation-laser and microwaves, computer use in dose calculation, and dose limit recommendations

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Review

"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

Book Description

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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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
In over 25 years since its first edition, this classic textbook has been used to train countless professionals in the fundamentals of radiation protection and safety. This third edition of Cember's work incorporates several fundamental changes in radiation protection standards and methodologies adopted since publication of the second edition in 1983. The third edition has also been expanded to include more recent safety standards for radiofrequency and microwave exposure.
This textbook is useful for an upper division undergraduate or first graduate course in radiological protection, health physics, or radiation safety. Each chapter is accompanied by a useful set of problems and suggested readings. Unfortunately, many of the readings and references cited are either out of print or difficult to find.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 1 Aug. 2006
Format:Paperback
This Book was a bible when I was studying my Masters and when I started work. Would not be without it. Thankfully we have several copies in work. A must for any Physics or Engineering Department in a hospital. This will bring you many hours of pleasurable reading. It is well written and easy to read with excellnet clinical and industrial problems and solutions
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New edition marred by typos and awkward editing 1 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
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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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Health Physics without the physics 19 Oct. 2011
By Delvan Neville - Published on Amazon.com
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. For instance: wavelength'' = 12400/eV in Cember is really wavelength = hc/E, but with the constants substituted in already (and no way from looking at the formula to tell what the units are for Cember's answer -- in this case, it's Angstroms).

If you're the instructor or a board advisee selecting the textbook for your class? I'd recommend considering the alternatives. The only real advantage to Cember's approach is it saves your students from doing unit conversion and some algebra, and in exchange they just have to annotate all the thumb-rules on their equation sheets with the resulting units, since you can't decide the system just by looking at the formula. But honestly, you can save your students the same amount of time by listing some common modern physics constants with the unit conversion in place. For the wavelength example, that'd be that hc = 1240 MeV fm.

(Oh, and ignore the Reference Woman data...Cember claims she is ridiculously short)
45 of 59 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New edition marred by typos and awkward editing 1 Nov. 1998
By Glenn A. Carlson, P.E. - Published on Amazon.com
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.
Finally, the multiplication sign, "x", should be reserved for arithmetic and scientific notation, not symbolic mathematical equations. See, e.g., Equations (3.10), (4.31), (10.17), (10.32), etc., as examples where the multiplication sign is unnecessary. The text also uses the multiplication sign even where numerical values are already set off by parentheses. The text's overuse of the multiplication sign gives the text a grade-schoolish flavor.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book for all Health Physicists 7 Aug. 2008
By Russel O. Dunkelberger - Published on Amazon.com
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. There is a section on UV that finally covers the UV equations on the ABHP part two equation sheet, and there is even an example. There are more laser and RF examples too.

Overall, it looks like the minor calculation errors that I have found in the past are corrected, lots of examples added, and as a sad note to students: there are a LOT more homework problems. If you are a practicing HP, or planning to take the CHP exam, you should get this book.

This book will not be on your shelf, you will be using it!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Health Physics Textbook 22 Sept. 2008
By Edward S. Wallace - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice presentation 7 Jun. 2012
By WJP - Published on Amazon.com
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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