UWA Medical Physics Blog

First Stop: Sendai

Prof. Tim St Pierre presented his first IEEE Magnetics Society Distinguished Lecture at Tohoku University in Sendai.  Here is Tim’s description of his adventures, including photos of an early “medical physics” device, the magnoscope (an electrical stethoscope).

I visited the Research Institute of Electrical Communication at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan. I met with Associate Professor Simon Greaves who showed me around the Institute.


The Institute was founded by Prof Nukiyama. There is a bust of Prof Nukiyama in front of the Institute. One of his achievements was the invention of a device known as The Magnoscope (an electrical stethoscope). The original device is on display in the Institute.

Components of the Magnoscope invented by Prof Nukiyama and his colleague Prof Sato in 1924

Components of the Magnoscope invented by Prof. Nukiyama and his colleague Prof. Sato in 1924

At 3pm I delivered my lecture to a group of researchers and students from various departments within the University. After receiving questions at the end of the presentation, I had one-on-one discussions with some of the students regarding ideas for measuring blood oxygenation based on magnetic susceptibility measurements. Further discussions were held with Professors Hiroaki Muraoka, Masahiro Yamaguchi, and Simon Greaves. Professor Yamaguchi is the chair of the local IEEE Magnetics Society Chapter.

Research group at Tohoku University

Group at Tohoku University

Simon Greaves outside institute

Simon Greaves outside the Research Institute of Electrical Communication at Tohoku University. The white walls of the building had recently been resurfaced after heavy damage from the March 2011 earthquake that caused the devastating tsunami that hit Japan. According to Simon, the smooth white walls looked like a jigsaw puzzle just after the earthquake.



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