Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

January 1991


Published in Physical and Chemical Mechanisms in Molecular Radiation Biology, edited by W.A. Glass and M. N. Varma. Plenum Press, New York, 1991.


The radial distribution of dose about the path of a heavy ion, principally from delta rays, is one of the central contributions of atomic physics to the systematization of high LET radiation effects in condensed matter, whether the detection arises in chemical, physical, or biological systems. In addition to the radial distribution of dose, we require knowledge of the response of the system to X-rays or gamma-rays or to beams of energetic electrons such that the electron slowing-down spectra from these radiations can approximate the slowing-down spectra from delta rays even at different radial distances from the ion's path. A combination of these data enables us to calculate the action cross sections for heavy ion bombardments in all detectors for which this information is available. These cross sections are indispensable for the evaluation of effects caused by high LET radiations. In this paper we focus attention principally on the calculation and measurement of the radial distribution of dose and on their limitations.

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