Description: Studies of the effects of low doses of ionizing radiation require sources of radiation which are well characterized in terms of the dose and the quality of the radiation. One of the best measures of the quality of neutron irradiation is the dose mean lineal energy. At very low dose rates this can be determined by measuring individual energy deposition events, and calculating the dose mean of the event size. However, at the dose rates that are normally required for biology experiments, the individual events can not be separated by radiation detectors. However, the total energy deposited in a specified time interval can be measured. This total energy has a random variation which depends on the size of the individual events, so the dose mean lineal energy can be calculated from the variance of repeated measurements of the energy deposited in a fixed time. We have developed a specialized charge integration circuit for the measurement of the charge produced in a small ion chamber in typical neutron irradiation experiments. We have also developed 4.3 mm diameter ion chambers with both tissue equivalent and carbon walls for the purpose of measuring dose mean lineal energy due to all radiations and due to all radiations except neutrons, respectively. By adjusting the gas pressure in the ion chamber, it can be made to simulate tissue volumes from a few nanometers to a few millimeters in diameter. The charge is integrated for 0.1 seconds, and the resulting pulse height is recorded by a multi channel analyzer. The system has been used in a variety of photon and neutron radiation fields, and measured values of dose and dose mean lineal energy are consistent with values extrapolated from measurements made by other techniques at much lower dose rates. It is expected that this technique will prove ...
Date: August 29, 2003
Creator: Braby, L. A.; Reece, W. D. & Hsu, W. H.
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