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Health Phys. 2012 Nov;103(5):590-5. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3182621292.

Track-structure simulations for charged particles.

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  • 1Department of Physics, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.


Monte Carlo track-structure simulations provide a detailed and accurate picture of radiation transport of charged particles through condensed matter of biological interest. Liquid water serves as a surrogate for soft tissue and is used in most Monte Carlo track-structure codes. Basic theories of radiation transport and track-structure simulations are discussed and differences compared to condensed history codes highlighted. Interaction cross sections for electrons, protons, alpha particles, and light and heavy ions are required input data for track-structure simulations. Different calculation methods, including the plane-wave Born approximation, the dielectric theory, and semi-empirical approaches are presented using liquid water as a target. Low-energy electron transport and light ion transport are discussed as areas of special interest.

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