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Apr 16, 2019

3.1d(2) ComptonScatterTranscript

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Compton scatter

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0 visualizzazioni46 pagine3.1d(2) ComptonScatterTranscript

Compton scatter

© All Rights Reserved

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1

Let us first review what we’ve covered so far about Compton scatter cross sections.

We’ve said that the Compton scatter cross section is equal to the classical scatter

cross section in the limit of zero energy. It’s also equal to the classical scatter cross

section for forward scatter, that is, θ = 0. The Compton scatter cross section

becomes more peaked in the forward direction as the photon energy increases. The

Compton scatter cross section for backscattered photons, that is, θ = π, is lower than

that for θ = 0 by about one order of magnitude for photons of energy 1 MeV, and

about two orders of magnitude for photons of energy 10 MeV. This is what we

know so far about Compton scatter.

What we are going to do now is try to get an equation, first of all for the total scatter

cross section, and then we will look at the energy dependence of the cross section.

Recall that the total scatter cross section is the attenuation coefficient per unit

incident photon fluence. Thus, from the scatter cross section we will be able to

obtain the attenuation coefficient.

2

We previously derived an equation for the differential scatter cross section per unit

solid angle. The first step toward obtaining the total scatter cross section is to

convert the differential scatter cross section per unit solid angle to the differential

scatter cross section per unit plane angle. We are going to do the exact same thing

that we did with coherent scatter and use the relationship dΩ = 2π sin θ dθ.

So dσ/dθ is equal to dσ/dΩ times dΩ/dθ, which is dσ/dΩ times 2π sin θ. This is

exactly what we did before with the cross section for coherent scatter.

3

Note that the sin θ term suppresses the cross section at θ = 0 and θ = π as it had done

for the expression for the cross section for coherent scatter.

Our final step is to integrate over θ to obtain a total cross section which is equal to

this quantity. We see here σ0, which is the cross section for coherent scatter, and

then we see a lot of factors involving α, where α, if you recall, is related to the

energy of the photon beam.

4

So σ0 is the classical cross section, which is 8/3 π times the classical radius of the

electron squared, multiplied by the remaining term, which is the integral of the

Klein-Nishina coefficient.

The total Compton scatter cross section is directly related to the electronic

attenuation coefficient. Remember, we’re looking at interactions with the electrons.

Therefore, the attenuation coefficient we’re getting is an electronic attenuation

coefficient, which is the total Compton coefficient. From this attenuation

coefficient, we can derive the energy transfer coefficient, the energy absorption

coefficient, etc.

If we want these numbers, we can look them up in J&C Table A2A second column.

5

Take a look at that table, and observe the energy dependence of the Compton scatter

coefficient for free electrons. Remember we said that the classical cross section was

independent of energy. Now let’s look at the correction due to multiplying the

classical attenuation coefficient by the integral of the Klein-Nishina coefficient.

At 1 keV the Compton cross section is roughly equal to the classical value – it’s

roughly 10-28 m2/electron.

At 7 MeV, we are down 1 order of magnitude; at 100 MeV we are down two orders

of magnitude.

Now notice this. From 1 keV to 100 MeV, the scatter coefficient drops down two

orders of magnitude. As a function of energy we go down five orders of magnitude

of energy from 1 keV to 100 MeV, but we only drop down two orders of magnitude

in the Compton scatter coefficient. Because of this, we say the Compton scatter

coefficient is roughly independent of energy.

6

Let’s look at this graph. Notice that this is a log-log plot. The total Compton scatter

coefficient is on the vertical axis, and the photon energy is on the horizontal axis.

7

At least for a while it’s very flat and then it starts trailing off. So we drop two

orders of magnitude for five orders of magnitude of energy and we say the Compton

scatter coefficient is essentially independent of energy.

8

What about the dependence of the Compton coefficient on atomic number Z? The model we are using is a free electron gas. We are looking at

the probability of an interaction per electron. We are not talking about the nucleus. Nor are we talking about the size of the nucleus or the

number of electrons in the atom. Consequently, the electronic coefficient for Compton scatter is essentially independent of Z, and, as we have

seen previously, it is also roughly independent of photon energy.

So what is it dependent on? About the only quantity the linear attenuation coefficient is going to be dependent on is density. The mass

attenuation coefficient is going to be essentially independent of everything. Consequently, when Compton scatter is the predominant

interaction, the linear attenuation is going to be linearly dependent on the density.

Another way of saying this is “Equal masses attenuate equal amounts.” That’s actually a very good thing; and the reason why that’s good

results from the fact that radiation dose is defined to be energy absorbed per unit mass. If we look at the absorption of energy in one gram of

bone versus one gram of soft tissue with the same incident photon fluence, we find that one gram of bone absorbs approximately the same

amount of energy as one gram of soft tissue. Equal masses absorb equal amounts.

How is that different from a situation in which the photoelectric effect is the predominant interaction? Remember that for the photoelectric

effect, absorption is going to be very strongly dependent upon atomic number. So high-Z materials absorb a greater fraction of photons than do

low-Z materials. This difference in absorption gives rise to contrast in diagnostic imaging and an enhancement of dose to bone in low-energy

radiation therapy. This was a problem in the pre-megavoltage era when we were treating patients with 100 kVp or 250 kVp x-rays. Because

there was so much photoelectric interaction, for a given amount of radiation, bone would receive a much higher dose than soft tissue.

When we’re in the Compton regime, bone receives the same dose as soft tissue, and that’s good.

9

Now, from the point of view of imaging, Compton interaction is not good because we don’t have as much contrast. Recall that

equal masses absorb equal amounts, so that because bone is a little denser than soft tissue, we get a little bit of contrast

between bone and soft tissue.

From the point of view of shielding, the Compton interaction is very good because equal masses absorb equal amounts. So an

equal mass of lead is as good a shield as an equal mass of concrete. Now if you were a builder what would you rather work

with, lead or concrete? Concrete is a standard building material; builders know how to pour concrete. They need to make sure

there aren’t any air bubbles or anything like that. It is easy to pour four feet of concrete. Consequently when we shield a

radiation therapy facility we are going to be looking at conventional building materials to do our shielding; we just use thick

walls. Several inches of lead shielding may be just as effective a shield as a few feet of concrete, but the lead is much harder to

work with and builders don’t like to use it.

10

Next we want to calculate the energy transfer coefficient. We have calculated the

total attenuation coefficient, which tells us the fraction of photons attenuated per

unit path length. We want to calculate the energy transfer coefficient to determine

how much energy is transferred to the electrons as a result of the interactions. In

order to do so, we take the linear attenuation coefficient and weight it by the

fraction of the incident photon energy that is transferred to the electrons. This

fraction is equal to the amount of energy transferred to the electrons divided by the

incident photon energy.

11

The energy transferred to the electron is given by this equation; we derived that in

the previous lecture. The fraction of energy transferred to the electrons is this

quantity divided by hν. So dσtr/dΩ is ½ r02 times 1+ cos2θ, that is, the classical

quantity, times the Klein-Nishina coefficient times the ratio α(1 – cos θ) divided by

1 + α(1 – cos θ).

12

If we want to calculate the total cross section, hence the attenuation coefficient, we

have to integrate over angles. The integration is rather messy.

I am not going to integrate this for you as we can spend a couple of days doing the

integration; I’d rather not do it.

The bottom line is that we still have this ¾ σ0, which is what we had from the linear

attenuation coefficient times a horrendous quantity that has a very complicated

energy dependence.

13

If we plot the energy transfer coefficient as a function of energy, this is what we get.

Notice that, unlike the linear attenuation coefficient, the energy transfer coefficient

is suppressed at low energies.

14

For high energy photons, that is, large values of α, the energy transfer coefficient

approaches the classical coefficient.

15

The energy transfer coefficient has a maximum in the vicinity of ½ to 1 MeV. This

means we have an enhancement of energy transferred to kinetic energy of charged

particles at energies fairly close to what we like to use for radiation therapy. That’s

really neat, because we want to transfer as much of this photon energy as possible to

charged particles, that is, the electrons, to produce secondary ionizations. So that’s

good. We have a maximum energy transfer where we would like such a maximum

to be.

16

At low energies, however, the energy transfer coefficient is strongly suppressed.

Compton scatter is not a good energy transfer mechanism at low energies. To recap,

energy transfer via Compton scatter is very efficient at high energies, but at low

energies Compton scatter is not an efficient mechanism for energy transfer.

17

What about the scatter coefficient? Remember, when we have attenuation, two

things can happen. Some of the energy can be transferred to charged particles,

while some of the energy can go to a scattered photon. So the scatter coefficient is

going to be equal to the total coefficient minus the energy transfer coefficient.

approximately equal to the total attenuation coefficient. Compton scatter is not a

good process for transferring energy to charged particles at low energies, but this is

also consistent with classical scatter, so we do wind up getting the coherent scatter

in the limit of low energies.

At high energies, almost all of the energy gets transferred to charged particles.

Consequently, the scatter coefficient approaches zero. So the scatter coefficient

goes between the total attenuation coefficient at low energies and zero at high

energies.

Now, let’s use this information about coefficients to deduce some properties of

energy transfer and energy absorption.

18

For example, how do we determine the mean energy that’s transferred to charged

particles?

We now know how to determine mean energy transfer based on the definition of

coefficients. The mean energy transfer is the initial photon energy multiplied by the

ratio of energy transfer coefficient to attenuation coefficient.

19

Using this equation we can now plot mean energy transferred via Compton

interactions vs photon energy.

20

More important is the energy distribution. We have incident photons interacting

with absorbing material via Compton interactions. Let’s look at a monoenergetic

beam of photons and determine the distribution of energies of the Compton

electrons that are going to be produced.

monoenergetic photon.

21

This probability is represented by dσ/dE. We can write this as the quantity dσ/dθ

times dθ/dE. We have already calculated dσ/dθ, so all we need to calculate is

dθ/dE. We have an equation of energy as a function of scatter angle, and we can use

this equation to get dE/dθ.

22

We find that dE/dθ is the incident photon energy, hν, times α sin θ, divided by the

quantity [1 + α(1 – cos θ)]2. We combine this quantity with dσ/dθ to obtain an

expression for dσ/dE, the distribution of energies of Compton electrons.

I should point out that this entire treatment is for mono-energetic photons. If we

had a polyenergetic beam we would have to integrate over the energy spectrum of

the photon beam.

23

Let’s look at a plot of differential cross section, dσ/dE, as a function both of incident

photon energy and electron energy. This figure is a plot taken from Johns &

Cunningham. For each value of incident photon energy, we have a different curve

for dσ/dE.

Note first, that for each photon energy, there is a maximum energy of the Compton

electron. What is this maximum electron energy? Recall that the maximum energy

imparted to the Compton electron occurs when the photon is scattered 180°, or

backscattered. We determined this quantity in the previous lecture to be equal to the

energy of the incident photon multiplied by the ratio 2α divided by 1 + 2α. For

example, for a 1 MeV photon, the energy of the scattered photon is 204 keV, so the

maximum energy of the Compton electron is 796 keV. For a 500 keV photon, we

can calculate the maximum electron energy to be a bit less than 350 keV.

24

We also observe there are peaks in dσ/dE at both zero energy and the maximum

energy. Low energy and high energy electrons are more likely than medium energy

electrons.

Notice, for example, for a high energy incident photon the differential energy cross

section is relatively flat but as you get to the maximum energy you have a peak. For

very low energy photons we find there is a significant decrease in differential cross

section as we increase the energy. We observe a distinct minimum in the energy

distribution of the scattered electrons and then again a peak.

25

We can always calculate what the maximum electron energy is from the Compton

equation; this is the quantity that we call a Compton edge, an observed increase in

the energy distribution of the scattered electrons.

So if we are able to look at the scattered electron energy distribution using some

kind of multi-channel analyzers or something like that we will find there’s going to

be a peak right at the maximum energy. This maximum is called the Compton edge.

I think you are going to be seeing Compton edges in subsequent courses when we

talk about scintillation detectors, which measure the energy spectrum of scattered

electrons.

26

How do we determine the total cross section?

We can integrate the differential cross section over energies. It turns out we can do

this integration numerically rather simply.

27

Remember dσ/dE is relatively constant with electron energy. If you want to

estimate the electronic attenuation coefficient from a differential coefficient, it is

rather easy to do so. This coefficient, the electronic attenuation coefficient, then is

going to be directly proportional to the mass attenuation coefficient.

28

Here’s an example of how we can estimate the electronic attenuation coefficient.

We want to determine the electronic attenuation coefficient for a 0.8 MeV photon in

a free electron gas. How do we determine this? First of all, the maximum energy of

the electrons can be estimated from the graph or calculated from a formula to be

0.606 MeV.

29

Now we also look at the graph and see that dσ/dE is approximately constant with a

value of 40 10-30 m2/e MeV.

To a first approximation, let’s forget about the Compton edge; we will just

approximate the integration by assuming that dσ/dE is constant. To do the

integration, we multiply dσ/dE by the energy interval, 0.606 MeV, and find that σ is

the value of 24 10-30 m2/e. Now if we look at the number in Johns & Cunningham

we find it’s 23.5 10-30 m2/e. So simply by assuming dσ/dE to be constant, we get

a very good estimate of the total cross section.

30

Here’s another example.

Let’s determine the number of Compton interactions and the number of electrons

that are set into motion with energies between 0.15 MeV and 0.25 MeV when we

have a slab of bone 6 mm thick, and bombard the bone with 104 photons of energy

0.5 MeV.

accountants and we want to follow the energy and figure out where these Compton

electrons go and what kind of energy these Compton electrons have.

31

First, let’s recall that the attenuation coefficient is the fraction attenuated per unit

absorber thickness. How many photons are attenuated? We could use the

exponential approximation but when we’re estimating let’s use the thin absorber

approximation. The number of photons attenuated is the number of incident

photons times the attenuation coefficient times the absorber thickness.

How many incident photons do we have? We have been told that the number of

incident photons is 104. What is the Compton attenuation coefficient for ½ MeV

photons. We look that up in Table A2a in Johns & Cunningham and find that to be

0.2892 10-28 m2 per electron.

What’s the thickness of the absorber? The thickness of the absorber is the thickness

of the bone times the density of bone. We multiply the thickness of bone, 0.6 cm,

by the density of bone, 1.650 kg/m3, which we get from the Table 5.3. Next we

multiply by 10-2 to convert the bone thickness from meters to cm.

Let’s convert that into centimeters times the electron density. Remember we have

to be able to calculate the electron density to be Z over A times Avogadro’s number.

Z over A is about a half. So electron density is generally going to be roughly half of

Avogadro’s number. That’s a very good approximation for low to moderate Z

material, such as bone. Electron density comes out to be 3.19 1023 electrons per

kilogram. So the electron areal density is 3.16 1027 electrons per meter squared.

32

So 3.16 1027 electrons per meter squared times the Compton coefficient times the

number of incident photons gives us the number of photons that are scattered.

know how many electrons are scattered.

33

What we now want to find out is how many electrons have energies between 0.15

and 0.25 MeV.

What is the differential cross section for photons of incident energy ½ MeV

producing electrons of energy around 0.2 MeV? We find the differential scatter

cross section is roughly 70 10-30 meters squared per electron per MeV. That’s a

ballpark figure. Again, we’re estimating here. We will not do an exact calculation.

To do the exact calculation you would have to plug and chug into the equation for

differential cross section, which I am not going to have you to do.

34

We now have the differential scatter cross section. The energy interval we’re

looking at from 0.15 to 0.25 MeV is 0.1 MeV. To obtain the cross section we

integrate the differential cross section over the energy interval. Assuming the

differential cross section is constant over that energy interval, a reasonable

assumption, we find the cross section is 7 10-30 meters squared per electron. To

calculate the number of electrons generated in this energy range we multiply the

number of incident photons, 104, times the cross section, 7 10-30 meters squared

per electron, times the absorber thickness, 3.16 1027 electrons per meter squared,

giving us an answer of 220 electrons.

In general when we want to calculate the number of electrons that are liberated, we

take the differential energy cross section, multiply it by the energy interval, multiply

it by the number of incident photons, multiply that by the electron density. The cross

section, then, is the probability of an interaction per unit incident photon fluence.

I hope you become comfortable with this kind of a calculation. The problem sets

will give you more practice in doing calculations of this nature. Our basic goal in

doing these problems is to be able to know where the energy is going. Remember,

we need to follow the energy.

35

So far, our approximations have been based on the model of a free electron gas. For

a free electron gas we have no binding energy. There is no force attracting the

electrons to the atom, but that’s not completely correct.

So now we are going to make a minor refinement and account for binding energy.

To do this, we have to use quantum mechanics. We need the wave functions for

atoms. You can only do quantum mechanics relatively accurately on fairly simple

atoms.

The effects of binding energy are important only for low energy incident photons

for which the binding energy is comparable or at least not very much less than the

energy of the incident photon.

36

To account for binding energy, we multiply the differential cross section, dσ/dθ,

based on the Klein-Nishina theory, times a quantity that amounts to an atomic form

factor. It represents the probability that an electron actually leaves the atom. It’s a

function of x, which is related to the scatter angle and the photon energy, and it’s a

function of atomic number Z.

37

These values were tabulated by Hubbell in the Journal of Physical Chemistry

Reference Data.

So if we take this quantity, take everything together, and integrate over angles, we

can obtain the Compton coefficient in the real world. We are going to have some

slight deviations from the Compton coefficient for a free electron gas that account

for binding energy.

38

We can’t evaluate this integral in closed form, but if we look at Johns &

Cunningham Table A4, we’ll see different values for Compton coefficients for each

material. These values differ slightly from those for a free electron gas because of

the fact there is binding energy.

39

So what is the effect of binding energy? Here is a plot of Compton coefficients

versus photon energy for a free electron gas, oxygen, and lead. We see the curve

for the free electron gas on top; below that is the curve for oxygen; the lowest

values are for lead.

First of all, notice the binding energy only has an effect on the Compton coefficient

at low energies; once you get above 100 keV, the binding energy essentially has no

effect. Above 100 keV the binding energy is negligible compared to the energy of

the incident photons.

Binding energy is more important for higher Z materials. This also makes sense.

Higher Z materials have greater binding energies. So the impact of binding energy

on Compton coefficient is most noticeable for high-Z materials and lower photon

energies.

interaction, the effect of binding energy is not significant.

40

Let us now summarize what we know about Compton scatter.

First of all, if we base our determination of the attenuation coefficient on the free

electron model, the attenuation coefficient is nearly constant to 100 keV. It falls less

than 2 orders of magnitude out to 100 MeV. So the coefficient is proportional to hν

raised to a power something smaller than -1, maybe -2/3, from 100 keV to 100 MeV.

To a ballpark approximation we can say it’s roughly independent of energy.

At low energies, the binding energy of the electrons affects the Compton scatter

coefficient suppressing attenuation in high-Z materials such as lead. But this

suppression only occurs at lower energies.

41

At higher energies there is no difference between any of the Compton attenuation

coefficients so then σ/ρ is essentially independent of Z.

the binding energies. At higher photon energies you can forget about the binding

energies; we are basically dealing with free electrons. So in summary, σ/ρ, the total

attenuation coefficient, is roughly independent of Z, and depends on the hν to

something a little bit less than the magnitude of -1, say -2/3 or something like that.

42

In this graph we see the differential angular cross section for Compton scatter as a

function of scatter angle. Thompson scatter is the curve that’s symmetric in angle,

Rayleigh scatter peaks at low angle scatter.

43

Note that this graph is for very low energy photons incident on a low-Z target, 10

keV photons incident on carbon.

Coherent scatter at these low energies is significant and stronger than Compton

scatter. Also the binding energy has a significant effect on Compton scatter at these

low energies and that Compton scatter approaches the classical limit.

44

Compton scatter involves the interaction between a photon and a single electron.

The probability of Compton scatter is almost independent of Z; it decreases slightly

with increasing energy.

When Compton scatter occurs, some of the energy is scattered and some of the

energy is transferred into the Compton electron. The amount, the distribution of

energy, depends on the angle of emission of the scattered photon and the energy of

the incident photon.

45

The fraction of energy transferred to kinetic energy of charged particles per

collision increases with increasing photon energy. For low energy photons, energy

transfer is low, σtr is much smaller than σ; Compton scatter is not an efficient means

of energy transfer. For high energy photons, σtr is approximately equal to σ, and

Compton scatter is an efficient method of energy transfer. And finally, in soft tissue

Compton scatter is the most important process in the energy range of 30 keV to 30

MeV.

We’ve spent a lot of time on Compton scatter. The reason we’re spending a lot of

time on it is because Compton scatter is a very important process. It’s the most

important process in the therapy energy range and matches the photoelectric effect

for importance in the diagnostic energy range.

46