• Braby, Leslie A. (Nuclear Engineering Department, Texas A&M University College Station)
  • Published : 2008.12.31


In some situations, for example at very low doses, in microbeam irradiation experiments, or around high energy heavy ion tracks, use of the absorbed dose to describe the energy transferred to the irradiated target can be misleading. Since absorbed dose is the expected value of energy per mass it takes into account all of the targets which do not have any energy deposition. In many situations that results in numerical values, in Joules per kg, which are much less than the energy deposited in targets that have been crossed by a charged particle track. This can lead to confusion about the biochemical processes that lead to the consequences of irradiation. There are a few alternative approaches to describing radiation that avoid this potential confusion. Examples of specific situations that can lead to confusion are given. It is concluded that using the particle radiance spectrum and the exposure time, instead of absorbed dose, to describe these irradiations minimizes the potential for confusion about the actual nature of the energy deposition.


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