Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 3
Hours: 40 lecture per quarter (40 total per quarter)
Prerequisite: This course is limited to students admitted to the Nondestructive Testing Technician Apprenticeship Program.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: None
Grade Type: Pass/No Pass Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable


This course introduces the basic principles of radiography, radiation safety, physics of radiation, exposure, radiography film, and radiograph shots.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Understand radiation physics, safety, and types
  2. Identify radiation devices and sources and handle them properly
  3. Understand the basic principles of radiographic testing
  4. Perform a basic radiographic test

Course Content

  1.  Radiological safety
    1. Units
    2. Dosage and health effects
    3. Radiation detectors including dosimeter, survey meter, film badge, TLD
  2. Types of radiation
    1. X-ray
    2. Gamma rays
    3. Properties of radiation
    4. Attenuation of electromagnetic radiation
  3. Types of radiation
    1. Particulate radiation - alpha, beta, neutron
    2. Electromagnetic radiation - X-ray, gamma ray
    3. X-ray production
    4. Gamma ray production
    5. Gamma ray energy
    6. Energy characteristics of common radioisotopes
    7. Energy characterization of X-ray machines
  4. Interaction of radiation with matter
    1. Ionization
    2. Radiation interaction with matter
    3. Units of radiation
    4. Attenuation and shielding
    5. Half value layer
    6. Inverse square law
  5. Exposure devices and radiation sources
    1. Radioisotope sources
    2. Radioisotope exposure device characteristics
    3. Electronic radiation sources - 500 Kev or less
    4. Electronic device sources - medium and high energy
  6. Basic principles of radiography
    1. Geometric exposure principles
    2. Radiographic screens
    3. Radiographic cassettes
    4. Composition of radiographic film
  7. Exposure techniques
    1. Single wall
    2. Double wall
    3. Panoramic
    4. Use of multiple films
  8. Film type selection
    1. Exposure time
    2. Radiographic technique setup
    3. Setup and geometrical unsharpness, establishing 2mR boundary
    4. IQI selection and placement
    5. Location markers
  9. Radiographs
    1. Formation of the latent image on film
    2. Inherent unsharpness
    3. Arithmetic of radiographic exposure
    4. Characteristic curve
    5. Film speed and class description, Module 9: Radiographic Image Quality
    6. Radiographic sensitivity
    7. Radiographic contrast
    8. Film contrast
    9. Subject contrast
    10. Definition
    11. Film graininess
    12. Image Quality Indicators (IQI)

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and hardware; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Results of a written test

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:


Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

American Society for Nondestructive Testing. Personnel Training Publications: Radiographic Testing (RT), Classroom Training Book, 2nd ed.. 2016.

This text is still widely used within the industry and is the most current text used for training.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Reading: Read Chapter 5 - Basic Principles
  2. Writing: Complete Quiz 5 on page 45. Quiz results will be reviewed in class as a group


Industrial Maintenance