By David Reed Greenwood; G L Kingsbury; J G Cleland; United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Research and Development

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The stopping power of a target material is the energy loss per unit path length in the material, often expressed in MeV per cm. We have seen that charged particles lose energy to target electrons through the "collision" of their electric fields, and indeed, energy lost by this mechanism is called "collision loss". We have also seen that charged particles, most especially electrons, can also lose energy by the bremsstrahlung process. This type of energy loss is referred to as "radiative loss". Total stopping power is the sum of "collision stopping power" and "radiative stopping power".

Over the past fifty years or so, a system of concepts, definitions and units has evolved for quantifying ionizing radiation and its biological effects. The system is still evolving, with new definitions being added and more precise definitions replacing older ones almost annually. The International Commission on Radiation Measurements and Units (ICRU) regularly publishes reports with the latest information in this area. ), and these should be used in all practical situations, where possible. I.

The secondary ions are accelerated in turn to generate yet more ions, and so on, to produce a multiplying or amplifying effect. Up to a certain voltage, the effect remains linear, so that the total ionization produced is proportional to the original or primary ionization, and a chamber operating in this mode is a Proportional Counter. As the voltage is increased further, the multiplying effect becomes an avalanche, assisted by the emission of photons which produce photoelectrons elsewhere in the gas, so that even the smallest amount of initial ionization results in a massive A3-4 CHAPTER A3 - Ionization Chamber Proportional Counter Geiger 0 MOller p 25 Applie Voltage f � Applie Voltage The beginning of the first graph shows two different primary ionizations.

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