Module Overview


This module covers basic concepts in ultrasound physics, including how ultrasound interacts with tissue, how an ultrasound image is formed, transducer technology, ultrasound imaging instrumentation, imaging artefacts Doppler physics, application of Doppler physics – Continuous Wave, Pulsed Wave, Colour and Power Doppler.

Module Code

PHYS 2814

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Ultrasound Imaging:

o    Principles of ultrasound propagation and the interaction of ultrasound with tissue.

o    Generation of ultrasound and ultrasound transducer technology - piezoelectric effect, transducer characteristics, damping.

o    Sound beam characteristics– effect of transducer crystal diameter on resolution, effect of transducer frequency on beam characteristics, beam focusing, near and far field. Lateral and axial resolution and slice thickness.

(6 hours)

Ultrasound Instrumentation:

o    Principles and applications of A-mode (Amplitude mode) and M-mode (motion mode).

o    B-mode imaging: Real time imaging - mechanical and electronic transducers – linear array, sector array, curvilinear array. B-mode Image processing - grey scale display, Time gain compensation, overall gain, output power, frame rate, scan converter, dynamic range, pre and post processing, log compression.

(6 hours)

Imaging artefacts:

o    Origin of artefacts, enhancement, multiple reflections, reverberations, shadowing and refraction.

(2 hours)

Doppler Ultrasound:

o    Doppler effect and Frequency shift due to moving reflector. Doppler signal processing: Insonation angle, reflector speed, aliasing, extracting the Doppler signal, Audible signal analysis, analogue Doppler waveform generation, spectral display characteristics, sample volume size.

(2 hours)

Doppler instruments:

Principles of CW, PW and Colour Doppler. Continuous wave instruments, pulsed wave instruments, Duplex instrumentation, bi-directional and unidirectional Doppler, Colour and Power Doppler.

(6 hours)

Principles of Clinical Haemodynamics

o    Effects of vessel structure and pathology on clinical haemodynamics. Applications of medical ultrasound in the areas of vascular medicine, cardiology and neurology.

(2 hours)


The laboratory component for this module consists of laboratory experiments which are aligned with the module content and learning outcomes, including use of a diagnostic ultrasound imaging system.

Learning will largely take place in the classroom and in the laboratories.  In addition, extensive use will be made of web-based facilities such as 1) appropriate hands-on training using ultrasound systems and training models 2) appropriate problem solving exercises 3) further reading.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination40
Other Assessment(s)60