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Ionizing Radiation

Division 6

Almost everything dealt with at Division 6 centres on the nucleus, for here radioactivity, dosimetry and metrology of alpha, beta, gamma, X and neutron radiation are concerned - from radiation therapy in medicine to the measurement of radioactivity in the environment.


The Division is concerned with the metrology of ionizing radiation. Important tasks cover measuring techniques for the detection of ionizing radiation, dosimetry for radiotherapy, radiodiagnostics and radiation protection, radiation measurements in the environment, activity measurements and the determination of atomic and nuclear data. The units of activity, fluence rate, air kerma, absorbed dose and dose equivalent are realized and disseminated via calibrations. The Division thus ensures the uniformity of measurements in the field of ionizing radiation.

Legal tasks are based on the Units and Time Act, the Verification Act, the Medical Products Act, the Radiology and the Radiation Protection Ordinance and the Radiation Protection Preventive Act. Activity standards for about 50 radionuclides are produced and made available. The Division performs type testing of X-ray equipment, X-ray tube assemblies, parasitic X-ray emitters, area and personal dosemeters, and dosemeters for radiodiagnostics. In addition, the Division deals with fundamental research work in the fields of radioactivity, dosimetry and metrology of alpha, beta, gamma, X-ray and neutron radiation.


The dosimetry of ion beams with the aid of ionization chambers has, to this date, not yet achieved the same precision as dosimetry of conventional, high-energy photon beams. This is mainly caused by the relatively large measurement uncertainty of the kQ,Q0 factor, which accounts for the different responses of ionization chambers to the radiation quality Q used (here: 12C), compared to the...

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