What is the attenuation coefficient?


Quick Answer

The attenuation coefficient is the measure that describes how a beam of x-rays or gamma rays are absorbed versus scattered in a material. From the value, the number of atoms in a cubic volume of material and the probability of a photon being scattered or absorbed can be determined.

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Full Answer

The attenuation coefficient is also known as the linear coefficient. It can be used to determine several other values, including the intensity of energy transmitted through a material and the intensity of the incident x-ray. It can also be used to determine the thickness of the material. When looking for attenuation coefficient values in literature, it is sometimes easier to find mass attenuation coefficients instead.

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