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

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If we continue to increase the voltage applied to the electrodes of the ion chamber, beyond the saturation voltage, the ions produced by the radiation (primary ions) are accelerated to such a speed that they ionize other gas atoms with which they collide in their journey to the electrodes. 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.

For our purposes, range is the same as depth of penetration. For radiation safety purposes, the following consequences of neutron interactions are important: for beta, path length = sum of segments 1. neutrons can make a target material radioactive. β− 2. g. water, paraffin wax. range α++ 3. neutrons can produce reaction products which cause high density ionizations. The biological effects of neutron irradiation are complex, and less well understood than those of beta or gamma rays. Many other kinds of ionizing radiation exist, mostly due to human intervention.

Radiation Safety Officer's Handbook CHAPTER A2 A2-7 Stopping Power: A charged particle comes to a stop when it has lost its kinetic energy. 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.

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A handbook of key federal regulations and criteria for multimedia environmental control by David Reed Greenwood; G L Kingsbury; J G Cleland; United States. Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Research and Development


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