Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology, 5th Edition



by Russell K. Hobbie and Bradley J. Roth


Software: Microsoft Office              whitakerpicture


Table of Contents:  A Table of Contents for the 5th edition is available here.


Solutions Manual: Instructors should contact the authors for a copy of the solutions manual (,


Errata:  A pdf file containing a list of known errors in the 5th edition (last revision: April 23, 2019). Please let us know if you find other errors.


Book Blog: Learn more about the book--including reviews, background information, updates, and new homework problems--at the book blog. If you want a quick tour of the blog highlights, download the sampler (or the pdf version of the sampler in which the links don’t work). Also, click here for a mapping of blog posts to sections in IPMB (or download the pdf version, in which again the links don’t work). Last revision: May 19, 2019.


Facebook: Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology has a Facebook group.


Information from Springer: Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology is published by Springer. They have their own webpage for the book. Download their annotated flyer.


Trivial Pursuit IPMB: Download game cards to play Trivial Pursuit IPMB.


AAPT Summer Meeting, Portland, OR, July 20, 2010: Download Russ Hobbie’s slides from his presentation at the AAPT meeting, his AJP paper Physics Useful to a Medical Student (Volume 43, Pages 121-132, 1975), our AJP resource letter on Medical Physics (Volume 77, Pages 967-978, 2009), and the document Topics for the Premed Physics Course.


Hobbie Interview: See the American Physical Society, Division of Biological Physics December 2006 Newsletter for an interview with Russell Hobbie.


MacDose:  MacDose is a computer program designed to teach about the interaction of radiation with matter. It provides a two-dimensional simulation of the photoelectric effect, coherent scattering, Compton scattering, and pair production. It distinguishes between stochastic quantities, such as the energy transferred and the energy imparted, and average quantities such as the kerma and absorbed dose. It runs on any Macintosh with OS-9 or earlier, including Classic in OS-X. It used to be distributed by Medical Physics Publishing Company, but now it is freeware. An Apple Macintosh DiscCopy image is available here as a binhex file and includes MacDose, the Student Manual, and the Instructor's Guide.  There is also a 26 minute Quicktime movie that uses MacDose to demonstrate various concepts related to the attenuation and absorption of x rays. The Movie is a 40 MB file. (Also available on YouTube in three parts, search for “Hobbie Demonstrates MacDose”.)


BIO2010:  This pdf file contains the January 1, 2010 entry in the book blog. It describes the National Research Council report Bio 2010 about transforming biology education, and outlines how well Intermediate Physics in Medicine and Biology meets its goals.


American Journal of Physics Resource Letter: Download a reprint of “Resource Letter MP-2: Medical Physics” by Hobbie and Roth, which appeared in the American Journal of Physics (77:967-978, November 2009).


American Journal of Physics Special Issue on the Intersection of Biology and Physics: Download a reprint of “A collection of homework problems about the application of electricity and magnetism to medicine and biology” by Roth and Hobbie, which appeared in the American Journal of Physics (82:422-427, 2014)


The Introductory Physics Course for Life Science Students: There is renewed interest in the introductory physics course for biology and premed students. [see:, the BIO2010 report, and the back page of the March 2010 issue of the APS News]. While Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology is not designed for the introductory course, many topics in it can be taught at the introductory level.


Hexagon Patterns for use with Problems 44 and 45 in Chapter 10. These two problems ask the student to play with a cellular excitable medium. Students may find it easier to do this problem is they have some predrawn hexagon girds, which can be downloaded as a pdf file here.


Addendum about Least Squares Fitting: Get the addendum about least squares fitting mentioned in the May 14, 2010 entry to the book’s blog.


Powerpoint about Scientific Writing: I have created a powerpoint that analyzes scientific writing using as an example the paper “Current Injection into a Two-Dimensional Anisotropic Bidomain” (Sepulveda, Roth and Wikswo, 1989, Biophysical Journal, 55:987-999). Download it here, and see a blog post about it here.


Power Lines and Cancer FAQ: The website by John Moulder about Power Lines and Cancer, which we say “no longer exists” in Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology, has been found. Download a pdf here.


Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology, 4th Edition




Errata:  A pdf file containing a list of known errors in the 4th edition (last revision: June, 2015). Please let us know if you find other errors.




Supplemental Information from Previous editions of the textbook that was not included in the 4th or 5th editions:


_      Systems of Many Particles: The Maxwell Boltzmann Distribution.  From Chapter 3 of the 3rd Edition.

_      Optics.  Polarized light, absorption and emission of light, lifetimes and line widths, electron spin resonance.  From Chapter 10 of the 1st Edition.

_      Transport Through Neutral Membranes. Solute flow with no reflection, and glomerular filtration in the kidney.  From Chapter 5 of the 3rd Edition.


Websites listed in the book:


_      Atomic energy levels (chapter 15):

_      Stopping range of ions in matter (chapter 15):

_      Mass attenuation coefficient data (chapter 15):

_      Fractional mass compositions (chapter 16):

_      Nuclear physics data (chapter 17):

_      Nuclear physics data (chapter 17):

_      Pedagogical program for whole-body Monte Carlo calculations (chapter 17):

_      Nuclear decay schemes (chapter 17):

_      Neutrino mass information (chapter 17):