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14 cm. Therefore the Linear Attenuation Coefficient is Now combining all this with the exponential attenuation equation: we can write: Therefore Wikibooks | 51 Chapter 6 So the thickness of aluminium required to reduce these gamma-rays by a factor of ten is about 7 cm. This relatively large thickness is the reason why aluminium is not generally used in radiation protection - its atomic number is not high enough for efficient and significant attenuation of gammarays. You might like to try this question for the case when Pb is the absorber - but you will need to find out the Half Value Layer for the 200 keV gamma-rays yourself!

Pb) are used for radiation protection. Effect of Density A second approach to exploring the magnitude of ∆I is to see what happens when we change the density of the absorber. We can see from the following figure that a low density absorber will give rise to less attenuation than a high density absorber since the chances of an interaction between the radiation and the atoms of the absorber are relatively lower. So in our analogy of the spaceship entering a meteor cloud think of meteor clouds of different density and the chances of the spaceship colliding with a meteor.

42 Half Value Layers (in cm) for a range of materials at gamma-ray energies of 100, 200 and 500 keV. The first point to note is that the Half Value Layer decreases as the atomic number increases. 12 mm for lead at this energy. 12 mm of lead can do the same thing. The second thing to note is that the Half Value Layer increases with increasing gamma-ray energy. 18 cm for copper at 100 keV to about 1 cm at 500 keV. Thirdly note that relative to the data in the previous table there is a reciprocal relationship between the Half Value Layer and the Linear Attenuation Coefficient, which we will now investigate.

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Basic Physics of Nuclear Medicine by Kieran Maher

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