Experimental validation and evaluation of uncertainty in the monte carlo modeling of electron irradiation of complex objects
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Monte Carlo method is an invaluable tool in the field of radiation protection, used to calculate shielding effectiveness, as well as dose for medical applications. With few exceptions, most of the objects currently simulated have been homogeneous materials that vary in density by a factor of 3 or less. In the irradiation of very heterogeneous objects, particularly layered or leafy food items, one will encounter air pockets within the bundle as a matter of course. These pockets will cause variations in density of up to three orders of magnitude. Air pockets in a tissue equivalent phantom were found to produce “hot spots” in the dose distribution, and introduced significant deviations between the calculated and measured distribution of dose to the phantom. To date, very little published work had been done in the area of Monte-Carlo simulation of objects of such disparate density. Before Monte Carlo methods can be used successfully in this regime, further code development and experimental validation will be necessary, of which this work is just a beginning. Phantoms were made of corrugated low-Z material similar in electron density to plant based material. These phantoms incorporated air gaps of comparable size to those found in the leafy objects of interest. Dimensions were chosen to bracket electron ranges in the material of the objects modeled. Monte Carlo analysis will provide a reasonable qualitative picture of the dose distribution, but such a picture is not yet sufficiently accurate in a quantitative sense. Air gaps within the plant material produced large discrepancies between calculation and measurement. Smaller air gaps were observed to produce greater discrepancy between calculation and measurement.
Tutt, Teresa Elizabeth (2007). Experimental validation and evaluation of uncertainty in the monte carlo modeling of electron irradiation of complex objects. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from