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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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FC06:

Teaching Physics Related to an Early Attempt at Medical Imaging
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 9:20 AM -9:30 AM
  Author: Dean Zollman, Kansas State University
785-532-1619, dzollman@phys.ksu.edu
  Co-Author(s): Sytil K. Murphy , Ebone B Pierce , Johannes v.d. Wirjawan
  Abstract: When President Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881, physicians could not determine the location of the bullet. Alexander Graham Bell proposed that he use his newly invented telephone and another relatively new development, the induction balance, to locate it [1]. This early attempt at nonintrusive medical imaging ultimately failed. The apparatus provides students with a way to learn several aspects of electromagnetism and AC circuits in a context that should be motivating to medical students who are studying physics. Even the reasons for the failure are directly related to understanding magnetic fields. Our progress toward developing a teaching activity on this topic has included creating an induction balance with readily available materials and detecting the location of hidden pieces of metal. This project is funded by NSF under grant DUE 04-26754.
  Footnotes: 1. Alexander Graham Bell ?Upon the Electrical Experiments to determine the location of the Bullet in the body of the late President Garfield and upon the successful form of Induction Balance for the painless detection of Metallic Mass in the Human Body? The American Journal of Science 25, 22-61, 1883
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