In 2003 we published Positron Emission Tomography: Basic Science and Clinical Practice. The aim of that book was to address what we perceived of as a lack, at the time, of a comprehensive contemporary reference work on the rapidly expanding area of positron emission imaging. The scope was intentionally wide. The original proposal for a 350 page book turned into a nearly 900 page volume.

This book, Positron Emission Tomography: Basic Sciences, is a selected and updated version of the non-clinical chapters from the original book. In addition, a number of new chapters have been added which address the role of PET today for the scientist currently working in or entering this rapidly expanding area. The audience that this is intended for is the scientist, engineer, medical graduate or student who wants to learn more about the science of PET. Many of the chapters have been updated from the original to reflect how rapidly the technology underpinning PET is changing.

The following diagram encapsulates much of what is required in understanding the science of PET. It is taken from an introduction by Professor Terry Jones to a book of the proceedings from a PET neuroscience conference in the mid-1990s. It is the intention of this book to deal with the majority of these topics and to produce a comprehensive "science of PET" textbook which is more focussed and manageable than the original volume. We hope this book will be of use to you.

Finally, we are sad to report that the principal editor of the original work, Peter E Valk, MB, BS, FRACP, passed away in December 2003. Peter was a great friend and outstanding advocate for, and practitioner of, nuclear medicine and PET. He will be greatly missed by his many colleagues and friends everywhere. We are indeed fortunate that Peter left us with a truly wonderful book on PET to preserve his memory and not let us forget the debt that we owe him for the leading role he played in bringing PET into clinical patient care.

Dale L Bailey David W Townsend Michael N Maisey

Sydney, Knoxville, London March 2004

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