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Scientific news from division 6

News 2010

Total, differential elastic and double differential inelastic electron scattering cross sections of tetrahydrofuran have been measured at PTB and were included in the PTB Monte-Carlo program for track structure simulation. First simulation results based on these cross sections indicate that previous the biological damage to DNA is overestimated when the cross sections of water are used instead.

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Monte Carlo calculations enable the simulation of electron and photon transport through matter. Based on the simulations, among others, the (mean) energy can be determined which is deposited within a certain volume during the passage of the particles. In the field of radiation therapy, the correctness of such Monte Carlo simulations is particularly important, since they provide the possibility of...

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A multi-frame gated optical imaging system for time-resolved neutron radiography was developed. It will be used for energy selective imaging in pulsed beams (e.g.Bragg edge radiography) or as a stroboscopic imaging system for thermal-neutron radiography of dynamic processes. First results of its evaluation at the ANTARES facility of the Munich research reactor FRM 2 are presented.

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Commercially available detectors made of monocrystalline diamond offer the potential for applications in fusion research. With a newly developed fast current amplifier combined with a digital data acquisition system, it is possible to perform measurements at extremely high neutron fluence rates. Measurements with monoenergetic neutrons and high-energy charged particles confirm that this measuring...

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For the BOREXINO experiment in the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS), a Th-228 gamma testing source is required which may show only a very low neutron emission. Such a source, prepared by the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, and by other partners, was investigated at PTB. The measurement of the neutron source strength has shown that it meets the condition for being...

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By means of deconvolution procedures it is possible to resolve structures in a spectrum which are finer than the instrument resolution of the spectrometer. A new procedure now allows this property (which is called "super-resolution") to be determined quantitatively for the first time for a scintillation spectrometer which is used for plasma diagnosis. This procedure is also of significance for...

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The stopping power of a substance depends on the type charge state and energy of the ionizing particle being stopped. The stopping power is identical for different ions of the same charge and identical velocities. The first moment of the frequency distribution of the size of ionization clusters - the mean ionization cluster size M1(Q) - is proportional to the stopping power. Therefore, M1(Q)...

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Whether in Asia, Europe or Latin America: An ever increasing number of geological and epidemiological studies are turning their attention to the short-lived radon isotope Rn-220 (half life T½ = 55 s) - also called "thoron" - which has so far hardly received any consideration. At present, the newly developed detector systems used can be traceably calibrated only at PTB: Since 2010, the primary...

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In order to calibrate measurement devices for the activity concentration of Rn-222 in air below 1000 Bq/m3, a low-level radon reference chamber is currently being set up: It covers a traceable volume (0.5 m3) for the generation of the reference atmosphere, a device for the transfer of defined activities and the development of a high-sensitivity transfer standard.

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In a cooperation with the Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (Federal Office for Radiation Protection), mathematical simulations (method: Finite Elements based on the measurement of the turbulent transport processes) of a thoron distribution were compared with measurements of the associated thoron activity concentration in the thoron progenies chamber.

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The ionization chambers used in dosimetry for radiation therapy are usually calibrated at 60Co radiation in the measurand absorbed dose to water. If used at other radiation qualities, e.g. at higher photon energies, the change of the response of the ionization chamber is taken into account by means of the energy-dependent kQ factor. Both - the calibration factor and the kQ factor - relate to a...

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The activity of Cd-113m was determined with two liquid scintillation counting methods with small uncertainties. By combining the procedure with measurement results from gamma spectrometry, the photon emission probability of the 264 keV transition could - for the first time - be exactly determined. The half-life of the isotope, too, was redetermined with improved uncertainty.

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When deterministic dosimetric quantities, such as the depth-dose profile, are calculated using Monte-Carlo methods, additional auxiliary counters have to be scored in the simulation to allow the determination of the statistical uncertainty contribution. On the contrary, in the Monte-Carlo simulation of stochastic quantities, like e.g. nanodosimetric ionisation cluster size distributions, the...

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In dosimetry for radiation protection in pulsed fields of ionising radiation, problems occur when the use of electronic radiation protection dosemeters is prescribed. As a reaction, PTB has set up the world's first facility for the generation of pulsed X-ray radiation in which the physical parameters of the radiation pulse can be adjusted. This pulsed X-ray facility was developed in close...

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Radon metrology at PTB moves to another location: After 20 years of successful work in the setting-up, investigation and development of new procedures, the laboratory area so far used is becoming too small. The extension of radon metrology in the past few years from radon-222 to radon-220 (thoron) and, recently, to the sector of low-level measurements, has brought about an increase in measuring...

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Within the scope of the programme "Innovation with Standards (INS)", funded by the German Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies (Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik und Informationstechnik) of DIN and VDE (DKE), the project "Pulsed Radiation in Radiation Protection" has been approved. The aim of this project is to develop an innovative concept for the...

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The use of a miniature X-ray device for intra- or post-operative irradiation has increasingly established itself as an alternative to the radioactive sources used today in brachytherapy, the so-called "seeds". An advantage is that the local irradiation is electrically regulated and is limited in time. Thus, no radioactive sources must remain permanently in the body, as is usually the case in...

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The German Standardisation Committee "Radiology" has decided to use, as a matter of principle, the measurand "absorbed dose to water" for calibrations of the dosimetric systems employed in radiation therapy. In a special field of radiation therapy - i.e. in brachytherapy - dosimetry is, however, currently still based on the characterisation of radiation sources using the measurand "air kerma"....

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Besides surgery and chemotherapy, radiation therapy is a method which is frequently used to treat cancer. Today, it is used with at least half of all cancer patients. By using modern irradiation methods, patients can be treated in such a way that practically only the tumour tissue is irradiated with the desired dose and surrounding healthy tissue is mostly spared.

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Within the scope of a cooperation of several institutes, the half-life of the long-lived isotope Se-79 could be determined with a clearly improved uncertainty. PTB has contributed in particular by activity measurements performed with the aid of liquid scintillation counting.

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After a construction period of two years and a test phase of approx. one year, the world’s largest electron accelerator facility for dosimetry in radiation therapy has started normal operation. On a useful area of approx. 1000 m2, three accelerators cover all experimental requirements of dosimetry. The photon radiation fields of clinical practice can be realized as well as well-defined electron...

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In Belgium, a project started this year for quality assurance in radiotherapy, the so-called BeldART project (Belgian dosimetry audits in radiotherapy). The dosimetry measurement system employed by the Belgian group located at the NUTEC centre of the XIOS Hogeschool in Diepenbeek, Belgium, is based on the detection of radiation-induced free radicals in alanine by electron spin resonance (ESR)....

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