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INTERACTION OF IONIZING RADIATION WITH MATTER

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INTERACTION OF IONIZING RADIATION WITH MATTER

  1. 1. INTERACTION OF IONIZING RADIATION WITH MATTER Rambabu.N M.Sc Radiation Physics KIDWAI MEMORIAL INSTITUTE OF ONCOLOGY
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION • When an x- or -γ-ray beam passes through a medium, interaction between photons and matter can take place which results in transfer of energy to the medium. • The initial step in the energy transfer involves the ejection of electrons from the atoms of the absorbing medium. • These high-speed electrons transfer their energy by producing ionization and excitation of the atoms along their paths. • If the absorbing medium consists of body tissues, sufficient energy may be deposited within the cells, destroying their reproductive capacity. • However, most of the absorbed energy is converted into heat, producing no biologic effect.
  3. 3. IONIZATION • Ionization is a process by which a neutral atom acquires a positive or a negative charge. • Ionizing radiation can strip electrons from atoms as they travel through media. • An atom from which an electron has been removed is a positive ion. • In some cases a stripped electron may subsequently combine with a neutral atom to form a negative ion, usually free electron is called an negative ion. • Directly ionizing radiation: • Charged particles produce large amount of ionization in its energy loss to the medium. -Eg., electrons, protons, -particles • Indirectly ionizing radiation: • Neutral particles themselves produce very little ion pairs. Instead, they eject directly ionizing particles from the medium. -Eg., photons, neutrons
  4. 4. Photon Beam Description Fluence (): The quotient of dN by da where dN is the number of photons that enter an imaginary sphere of cross-sectional area da: dadN / Fluence rate or flux density (): The fluence per unit of time: Energy Fluence (): The quotient of dEfl by da, where dEfl is the energies of all photons that enter an imaginary sphere of cross-sectional area da: dtd / dadEfl / Energy fluence rate or intensity (): The energy fluence per unit of time: dtd / dN
  5. 5. Photon Beam Attenuation scattered photons NdxdN NdxdN   •A narrow beam of mono-energetic photons is incident on an absorber of variable thickness. •A detector is placed at a fixed distance from the source and sufficiently farther away from the absorber so that only the primary photon are measured by the detector. •Any photon scattered by the absorber is not supposed to be measured in this arrangement. •Thus, if a photon interacts with an atom, it is either completely absorbed or scattered away from the detector. •The reduction in the number of photons (dN) is proportional to the number of incident photons (N) and to the thickness of the absorber (dx). •Where µ is called Proportionality constant.
  6. 6. x eIxI dx I dI IdxdI        0)( •The equation can also be written in terms of intensity {I} : •If thickness x is expressed as a length, then µ is called the “linear attenuation coefficient” On integration we get,
  7. 7. Half value layer • The thickness of an absorber required to attenuate the intensity of a mono- energetic photon-beam to half its original value is known as the half-value- layer(HVL). • The half-value-layer is also an expression of the quality or the penetrating power of an x-ray beam. • From the equation, it can be shown thatx eIxI   0)(
  8. 8. CO-EFFICIENTS 1. Attenuation co-efficient 2. Energy transfer co-efficient 3. Energy absorption co-efficient
  9. 9. ATTENUATION CO-EFFICIENTS  This co-efficients depends on the energy of the photons and the nature of material. • Since the attenuation produced by a thickness x depends on the number of electrons present in that thickness, µ depends on the density of the material. • Mass attenuation coefficient: Attenuation coefficient per unit density ρ is called mass attenuation coefficient. / (cm2/g) • Electronic attenuation coefficient: The absorber thickness can also be expressed in units of electrons/cm2 . (/) (1/NO) (cm2/electron) where N0 is the number of electrons per gram
  10. 10. • Energy transfer coefficient : The fraction of photon energy transferred into kinetic energy of charged particles per unit thickness of absorber is given by the energy transfer coefficient. -where Etr is the average energy transferred into kinetic energy of charged particles per interaction. -The mass energy transfer coefficient is given by tr/ . • The energy absorption coefficient en : It is defined as the product of energy transfer coefficient and (1 - g) where g is the fraction of the energy of secondary charged particles that is lost to bremsstrahlung in the material. en = tr (1 - g) • The mass energy absorption coefficient i s given en / . µµ hv Etr tr 
  11. 11. Interactions of Photons with Matter • In the energy range of radiation therapy, mainly 4 types of interaction of photons with matter are of interest: 1. Coherent scattering. 2. photoelectric effect. 3. Compton scattering. 4. pair production. 5. Photodisintegration • The total attenuation coefficient is the sum of these individual coefficients for these processes: coh        c   – coh, ,, c and  are attenuation coefficients for coherent scattering, photoelectric effect , Compton effect and pair production respectively.
  12. 12. COHERENT SCATTERING
  13. 13. COHERENT SCATTERING • The coherent scattering, also known as classical scattering or Rayleigh scattering, • The process can be visualized by considering the wave nature of electromagnetic radiation. • This interaction consists of an electromagnetic wave passing near the electron and setting into oscillation. • The oscillating electron re-radiates the energy at the same frequency as the electromagnetic radiation. • These scattered x-ray have the same wavelength as the incident beam. Thus no energy is changed into electronic motion and no energy is absorbed in the medium. • The coherent scattering is probable in high-atomic number and with photons of low energy.
  14. 14. PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT
  15. 15. PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT • The process in which a photon is absorbed by an atom, and as a result one of its orbital electrons is ejected is called ‘Photoelectric effect’. • In this process, the entire energy (hν) of the photon is first absorbed by the atom and then essentially all of it is transferred to the atomic electron. • The kinetic energy of the ejected electron (called the photoelectron) is equal to hν-EB. where EB is the binding energy of the electron • Interactions of this type can take place with electrons in the K, L, M, or N shells. • This process leaves the atom in ionized state. Photoelectric effect
  16. 16. • The ionized atom regains electrical neutrality by rearrangement of the other orbital electrons. The electrons that undergo the these rearrangements surrender some of the energy in form of a photon known as the characteristic radiation of the atom. • Absorption of these characteristic radiation internally in the atom may result in emission of Auger electrons. These electrons are monoenergetic in nature. • The energy of the characteristic radiation (fluorescent radiation) varies from atom to atom, and for low atomic number elements, which make up most of the biological materials, it is of such low energy that it is probably absorbed by the same cell in which the initial event occurs. • The mass photoelectric attenuation coefficient (τ/ρ) is directly proportional to the cube of the atomic number and inversely proportional to the cube of the radiation energy. τ/ρ = k Z3/ E3 Photoelectric effect
  17. 17. • Graph of mass photoelectric attenuation coefficients plotted against photon energy, and for different materials reveal several important and interesting features. • The graph for lead has discontinuities at about 15 and 88keV. • These are called absorption edges, and correspond to the binding energies of L and K shells. • A photon with energy less than 15 keV does not have enough energy to eject an L electron. • Thus, below 15 keV, the interaction is limited to the M or higher-shell electrons.
  18. 18. Implications of Photoelectric effect • The photoelectric effect has several important implications in practical radiology: Diagnostic radiology: 1. Photoelectric interaction of low energy is almost 4 times greater in bones than in a equal mass of soft tissue. 2. In soft tissue binding energy of K-shell is too low, elements like iodine, Barium are ideal absorbers of x-rays in diagnostic energy range. 3. For this reason they are widely used as contrast agent in diagnostic radiology. Therapeutic radiology: 1. low-energy beams in orthovoltage irradiation causes excessive absorption of energy in bone.
  19. 19. COMPTON EFFECT
  20. 20. COMPTON EFFECT • The process in which the photon interacts with an “free” atomic electron that is, the binding energy of the electron is much less than the energy of the bombarding photon. • In this interaction, the electron receives some energy from the photon and is emitted at an angle θ. • The photon, with reduced energy, is scattered at an angle φ. • The analysis of ‘Compton process’ can be performed in terms of a collision between two particles, a photon and an electron, by applying the laws of conservation of energy and momentum. Illustration of the Compton effect.
  21. 21. Relationships: where hν0 , hν ', and E are the energies of the incident photon,scattered photon, and electron, respectively, and α = hν0 /m0 c2, where m0 c2 is the rest energy of the electron (0.511 MeV).
  22. 22. Special effects of Compton effect Direct Hit • If a photon makes a direct hit with the electron, the electron will travel forward (θ = 0 degrees) and the scattered photon will travel backward (φ = 180 degrees) after the collision. • In such a collision, the electron will receive maximum energy Emax and the scattered photon will be left with minimum energy hν I min. • Emax and hν I min can be calculated by substituting cos θ = cos 180o = -1 We get, Where α = hν0 /m0 c2
  23. 23. • Grazing hit • If a photon makes a grazing hit with the electron, the electron will be emitted at right angles (θ = 90 degrees) and the scattered photon will go in the forward direction (φ = 0 degrees). By substituting cos φ = cos 0o = 1 • Substituting these above values in the equations we get , Emax = 0 & hν ' = hν0
  24. 24. • 90-Degree Photon Scatter • If a photon is scattered at right angles to its original direction (φ = 90 degrees) • Emax and hν ' can be calculated from acquired equations by substituting cos φ = cos 900 = 0 • The angle of the electron emission in this case will depend on α.
  25. 25. Implications of Compton scattering 1. Photons interact by Compton interaction more readily in materials with high concentration of Hydrogen. 2. Fat has greater concentration of Hydrogen and absorbs more energy by Compton interaction. 3. A volume of bone attenuates more photons by Compton interaction since the number of electrons present in a volume of bone is greater then the same volume of fat. 4. In soft tissue, Compton effect is most important interaction of X and γ photons. 5. Hence Compton scattering is more predominant in ‘Therapeutic radiology’.
  26. 26. PAIR PRODUCTION
  27. 27. PAIR PRODUCTION • The photon may interact with matter through the mechanism of pair production, If the energy of the photon is greater than 1.02 MeV. • In this process ,the photon interacts strongly with the electromagnetic field of an atomic nucleus and gives up all its energy in the process of creating a pair consisting of a negative electron (e-) and a positive electron (e+). • As the rest mass energy of the electron is equivalent to 0.51 MeV, a minimum energy of 1.02 MeV is required to create the pair of electrons.
  28. 28. • Thus, the threshold energy for the pair production process is 1.02 MeV. • The photon energy in excess of this threshold is shared between the particles as kinetic energy. • The total kinetic energy available for the electron-positron pair is given by (hν – 1.02) MeV. • The particles tend to be emitted in the forward direction relative to the incident photon. • The pair production process is an example of an event in which energy is converted into mass, as predicted by Einstein's equation E = mc2 • The reverse process, namely the conversion of mass into energy, takes place when a positron combines with an electron to produce two photons, called the annihilation radiation.
  29. 29. Annihilation radiation: • Two photons of energy 0.51 Mev are produced when positron generated in Pair Production combines with electron after many interactions. • These photons are called as “Annihilation photons”. • Due to momentum conservation of energy the direction of propagation these photons becomes opposite. Production of two Annihilation photons
  30. 30. PHOTO-DISINTEGRATION
  31. 31. PHOTO-DISINTEGRATION • An interaction of a high-energy photon with an atomic nucleus can lead to a nuclear reaction and to the emission of one or more nucleons. • In most cases, this process of photodisintegration results in the emission of neutrons by the nuclei. • An example of such a reaction is provided by the nucleus of 63Cu bombarded with a photon beam: • The above reaction has a definite threshold, 10.86 MeV. • This can be calculated by the definition of threshold energy, namely the difference between the rest energy of the target nucleus and that of the residual nucleus plus the emitted nucleon(s). • Because the rest energies of many nuclei are known for a very high accuracy, the photodisintegration process can be used as a basis for energy calibration of machines producing high-energy photons.
  32. 32. Relative importance of Various types of Interactions • The Total attenuation coefficient () is the sum of these individual coefficients for these processes: coh        c   Where., • -Total mass attenuation co-efficient • coh  -Coherent scattering •   -Photoelectric effect • c-Compton effect • -Pair production
  33. 33. Relative importance of Various types of Interactions • The mass attenuation coefficient is large for low energies and high-atomic- number media because of the predominance of photoelectric interactions under these conditions. • The attenuation coefficient decreases rapidly with energy until the photon energy far exceeds the electron-binding energies and the Compton effect becomes the predominant mode of interaction. • In the Compton range of energies, the  of lead and water do not differ greatly, since this type of interaction is independent of atomic number. • The coefficient, however, decreases with energy until pair production begins to become important. • The dominance of pair production occurs at energies much greater than the threshold energy of 1.02 MeV. Relative importance of Various types of Interactions
  34. 34. Conclusions • The three major forms of interaction of radiation with matter, which are of clinical importance in radiotherapy are: 1. Compton effect. 2. Photoelectric effect. 3. Pair production. • Out of these, the Compton effect is the most important in modern-day megavoltage radiation therapy. • The reduced scattering suffered by high-energy radiation as well as the almost homogeneous tissue dosage is primarily due to the Compton effect. • The photoelectric effect is of primary importance in diagnostic radiology and has only historical importance in present day radiotherapy. • Despite several decades of research, photon-beam still constitute the main therapeutic modality in radiotherapy, because of several unresolved technical problems with the use of particulate radiation.
  35. 35. •Thank you Rambabu.N M.Sc Radiation Physics KIDWAI MEMORIAL INSTITUTE OF ONCOLOGY
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