homework physics


  1. Discuss operation of a Canberra MCA system.

  2. A Canberra MCA system is an example of a Pulse Height Analyzer (PHA). Discuss operation of

    a PHA and how they are used to detect radiation. Discuss differences between single channel

    (SCA) and multiple channel analyzers (MCA).

  3. Explain what causes voltage pulses within a Canberra MCA system. Make mention photon

    interactions with NaI (sodium iodide) crystals and amplification processes found in

    photomultiplier tubes.

  4. Discuss the characteristics of pulse height spectra (i.e. photopeaks, Compton effects,


  5. Discuss the linear attenuation equation seen here,

    I = I0e−μd
    I = Number of Photons Penetrating a Thin Slab of Matter of Thickness (d)
    I0 = Number of Photons in a Beam Before Thin Slab of Matter is Placed in Position d = Path Length or Distance Through Thin Slab of Matter
    μ = Attenuation Coefficient of a Particular Medium for Photons 

    6. Discuss the principal types of x-ray and γ-ray photon interactions with matter (i.e. Compton scattering, photoelectric absorption).

    7. Define attenuation.

    8. State the variables that influence photoelectric and Compton interactions.

    9. Define a linear attenuation coefficient and a mass attenuation coefficient.

    10. Discuss how these coefficients change with energy of a photon and the density of a material. 

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