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Phys Med Biol. 2009 Oct 7;54(19):N433-8. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/54/19/N01. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

SpekCalc: a program to calculate photon spectra from tungsten anode x-ray tubes.

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Joint Department of Physics, Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Downs Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5PT, UK.


A software program, SpekCalc, is presented for the calculation of x-ray spectra from tungsten anode x-ray tubes. SpekCalc was designed primarily for use in a medical physics context, for both research and education purposes, but may also be of interest to those working with x-ray tubes in industry. Noteworthy is the particularly wide range of tube potentials (40-300 kVp) and anode angles (recommended: 6-30 degrees) that can be modelled: the program is therefore potentially of use to those working in superficial/orthovoltage radiotherapy, as well as diagnostic radiology. The utility is free to download and is based on a deterministic model of x-ray spectrum generation (Poludniowski 2007 Med. Phys. 34 2175). Filtration can be applied for seven materials (air, water, Be, Al, Cu, Sn and W). In this note SpekCalc is described and illustrative examples are shown. Predictions are compared to those of a state-of-the-art Monte Carlo code (BEAMnrc) and, where possible, to an alternative, widely-used, spectrum calculation program (IPEM78).

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