By Kieran Maher
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The second point to note is that the Linear Attenuation Coefficient for all materials decreases with the energy of the gamma-rays. 73 cm-1 at 500 keV. The third point to note is that the trends in the table are consistent with the analysis presented earlier. Finally it is important to appreciate that our analysis above is only strictly true when we are dealing with narrow radiation beams. Other factors need to be taken into account when broad radiation beams are involved. Half Value Layer As with using the Half Life to describe the Radioactive Decay Law an indicator is usually derived from the exponential attenuation equation above which helps us think more clearly about what is going on.
Thirdly note that relative to the data in the previous table there is a reciprocal relationship between the Half Value Layer and the Linear Attenuation Coefficient, which we will now investigate. Relationship between the Linear Attenuation Coefficient and the Half Value Layer As was the case with the Radioactive Decay Law, where we explored the relationship between the Half Life and the Decay Constant, a relationship can be derived between the Half Value Layer and the Linear Attenuation Coefficient.
This outcome is exploited in gas-filled detectors as you will see in this chapter. The detector in this case is essentially a gas, in that it is the atoms of a gas which are ionised by the radiation. We will see in the next chapter that solids can also be used as radiation detectors but for now we will deal with gases and be introduced to detectors such as the Ionization Chamber and the Geiger Counter. Before considering these specific types of gas-filled detectors we will first of all consider the situation from a very general perspective.