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Medical physics

Medical physics is a very well-established field where advances tend to be of technical nature. However, physicists from other areas of physics can make unexpected contributions. New ideas, technology transfer and interdisciplinary collaborations can lead to exciting developments. This collection gathers various news, review and opinion pieces highlighting and discussing such trends.


In positron emission tomography, up to 40% of positron annihilation occurs through the production of positronium atoms in the patient’s body, whose decay could provide information about disease progression. New research is needed to take full advantage of this information.

Comment | | Nature Reviews Physics

Each year millions of patients benefit from diagnostic services enabled by advances in medical imaging. However, some services rely on the supply of technetium-99m from an ageing nuclear infrastructure. Kevin Charlton discusses new technologies to secure a sustainable supply.

Comment | | Nature Reviews Physics

Jose R. Alonso and colleagues describe technical advances that will allow the proposed IsoDAR (isotope decay at rest) cyclotron — being developed for neutrino physics research — to produce many medical isotopes more efficiently than existing cyclotrons can.

Comment | | Nature Reviews Physics