MEDICAL AND STATISTICAL PHYSICS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge of the physical laws and phenomena at the basis of instrumental
measurements as well as of the concepts of dimensions, units and physical
Introduce the student to the logic of statistical thinking and its application to practical
Course contents summary
Fundamental Laws of Dynamics
Vectors and scalars. Units, dimensions. Velocity and acceleration. Newton's laws.
Newton's law of gravitation. Acceleration of gravity. Difference between mass and
weight. Work, power and energy. Types of energy: thermal, chemical, potential,
kinetic, nuclear. Energy conservation law. Friction. Static and dynamic friction.
Force and moment of a force. Centre of gravity, barycentre. Equilibrium state of a
rigid body. Levers and applications to the human body. Structure of solids. Elastic
properties of a body, Young's modulus. Elastic behaviour of blood vessels and
Fluids and Fluid Dynamics
Pressure, Stevino’s law. Pascal’s law. Archimede's principle. Torricelli barometer.
Flow rate. Characteristics of an ideal fluid. Bernoulli's theorem. Applications of
Bernoulli's theorem to blood circulation. Real fluids. Laminar flow. Turbulent flow.
Reynolds number. Blood pressure measurement. Surface tension and capillarity.
Waves, Optics, Electrostatics, Electricity, Magnetism and Radiations.
Vibrations: harmonic, damped, forced motions, and resonance. Characteristics of
waves, the wave equation, superposition and interference of waves, stationary
waves. Sound waves, the ear and hearing, interference of sound, beats.
Ultrasound. Doppler effect. The Doppler echo in diagnostics: an application of the
Light. Geometrical optics: refraction, reflection, Snell's law, total reflection. Lenses
and Dioptres. Creation of an image with a thin lens. The human eye, basic optical
instruments . Interference of light. Diffraction of light.
Electrostatics: electric charge. Coulomb's law. Electric field Electric potential Electric
current: definition of resistance. DC (direct current) circuits. Ohm's laws. Serial and
parallel resistors. Kirchhoff's law. Resistance, capacitance and inductance in an AC
(alternating current) circuit. Gauss' theorem. Flux of an electric field.
Electrocardiogram. Series and parallel capacitance. Dielectrics.
Magnetic Field. Electromagnetic field. Motion of charges in a magnetic field. Biot-
Savart law and Ampere's law. Force generated between current-carrying
conductors. Magnetic Induction: Faraday's law and Lenz's law.
The atom. Radioactivity, law of radioactive decay, half-life. Electromagnetic
spectrum. Photons as particles and waves. Production and applications of X rays.
Principles of Radioptrotection.
Introduction: medical statistics and related disciplines. Logic and statistical planning.
Overview of combinatorial analysis: permutations, arrangements, combinations.
Applications. Overview of probability calculations: simple and compound probability,
Bayes theorem. Odds. Odds ratios. Likelihood ratios. applications. Probability
distributions : binomial distribution, Poisson distribution, normal and standard
normal distribution. Tables and their use.
Summarising data. Units of measure. Measurements of position, order and
variation. Indices of central tendency, mean median, mode. Indices of variability,
variance, standard deviation, CV. Percentiles and their use.
General principles of statistical inference. Sampling distribution. Hypothesis and
hypothesis testing. Type 1 and type 2 error. Power of a test and operating curve.
Parametric test : Student t-test, Variance analysis with 1 and 2 classification criteria.
Non-parametric test: Wilcoxon test, Mann-Whitney test, Kruskal-Wallis test,
Friedman test, mean test, Chi-square test, Fisher exact test.
Overview of linear regression and correlation.
Bersani, Bettati, Biagi, Capozzi, Feroci, Lepore, Mita, Ortalli, Roberti, Viglino, Vitturi:
Ed. Piccin Nuova Libraria (Padova).
Scannicchio: Fisica Biomedica,
Ed. EdiSES (Napoli).
Giambattista, McCarthy Richardson, Richardson:
Fisica Generale, Ed. McGraw-Hill (Milano).
1) Lecture notes
2) Stanton A. Glantz : Statistica per discipline Bio-mediche, ed. McGraw-Hill
3) Sidney Siegel, N. John Castellan Jr. : Statistica non parametrica, ed. McGraw-Hill
4) Internet resources and links
Assessment methods and criteria