Basic Physics of Nuclear Medicine by Kieran Maher

By Kieran Maher

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In other words ionizations occur. We can also appreciate from the table that alpha-particles are quite massive relative to the other types of radiation and also to the electrons of atoms of the material through which they are passing. As a result they travel in straight lines through matter except for rare direct collisions with nuclei of atoms along their path. A third feature of relevance here is the energy with which they are emitted. This energy in the case of alpha-particles is always distinct.

In other words ionizations occur. We can also appreciate from the table that alpha-particles are quite massive relative to the other types of radiation and also to the electrons of atoms of the material through which they are passing. As a result they travel in straight lines through matter except for rare direct collisions with nuclei of atoms along their path. A third feature of relevance here is the energy with which they are emitted. This energy in the case of alpha-particles is always distinct.

Finally it is useful to note that alpha-particles are very damaging biologically and this is one reason why they are not used for in-vivo diagnostic studies. We will therefore not be considering them in any great detail in this wikibook. Beta Particles We can see from the table that beta-particles have a negative electric charge. Notice that positrons are not considered here since as we noted in chapter 2 these particles do not last for very long in matter before they are annihilated. Beta-minus particles last considerably longer and are therefore the focus of our attention here.

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