Monte Carlo study of correction factors for Spencer–Attix cavity theory at photon energies at or above 100 keV

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1118/1.1287054
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TypeArticle
Journal titleMedical physics
ISSN0094-2405
Volume27
IssueAugust 8
Pages18041813; # of pages: 10
AbstractTo develop a primary standard for 192Ir sources, the basic science on which this standard is based, i.e., Spencer–Attix cavity theory, must be established. In the present study Monte Carlo techniques are used to investigate the accuracy of this cavity theory for photons in the energy range from 20 to 1300 keV, since it is usually not applied at energies below that of 137Cs. Ma and Nahum [Phys. Med. Biol. 36, 413–428 (1991)] found that in low-energy photon beams the contribution from electrons caused by photons interacting in the cavity is substantial. For the average energy of the 192Ir spectrum they found a departure from Bragg–Gray conditions of up to 3% caused by photon interactions in the cavity. When Monte Carlo is used to calculate the response of a graphite ion chamber to an encapsulated 192Ir source it is found that it differs by less than 0.3% from the value predicted by Spencer–Attix cavity theory. Based on these Monte Carlo calculations, for cavities in graphite it is concluded that the Spencer–Attix cavity theory with Δ=10 keV is applicable within 0.5% for photon energies at 300 keV or above despite the breakdown of the assumption that there is no interaction of photons within the cavity. This means that it is possible to use a graphite ion chamber and Spencer–Attix cavity theory to calibrate an 192Ir source. It is also found that the use of Δ related to the mean chord length instead of Δ=10 keV improves the agreement with Spencer–Attix cavity theory at 60Co from 0.2% to within 0.1% of unity. This is at the level of accuracy of which the Monte Carlo code EGSnrc calculates ion chamber responses. In addition, it is shown that the effects of other materials, e.g., insulators and holders, have a substantial effect on the ion chamber response and should be included in the correction factors for a primary standard of air kerma.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for National Measurement Standards; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
Identifier10018876
NRC number509
NPARC number5764054
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Record identifier2f54f58d-94cb-49bf-845e-08e030d7a87c
Record created2009-03-29
Record modified2016-05-09
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