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Jamie Jones

RTE Notebook 16
Coherent Interaction:
Coherent interaction is an interaction that occurs between very low energy x-ray
photons (below 10 keV) and matter low energy photons interacts with an electron
creates a secondary photon that has the same energy and wavelength as incident
photon but moves in a different direction. Also called classical scatter or unmodified
scatter. There are two types Thompson scattering and Rayleigh scattering.
Thompson involves a single electron in the interaction and Rayleigh involves all of
the electrons of the atom in the interaction but they both have the same results.
The secondary or scattered photon has the same energy frequency and wavelength
as the initial photon but no energy is transferred in the interaction and the photon is
not ionized. Coherent scattering occurs in a very low x-ray energy range is not
useful for diagnostic imaging.

Photoelectric Interaction
Photoelectric interaction happens when an x-ray photon interacts with an inner shell
electron photoelectron travels with kinetic energy which is equal to the difference
between the incident photon and the binding energy of the inner shell electron. It
operates like characteristic radiation in that an ionized atom is unstable in an inner
shell electron missing the vacancy is filled by an electron from the outer shell to an
inner shell as it does it releases energy in the form of characteristic photon called
secondary radiation. Electrons transfer from one shell to another until the atom
returns to a normal state and is no longer a positive ion absorption occurs with this

Compton Scatter
Compton scatter happens when energy incident x-ray photon interacts with outer
shell electron, removes the electron from its shell and proceeds in a different
direction as a scattered photon. Part of the energy of the incident photon is used to
remove the outer-shell electron and impart kinetic energy to it, it possesses less
energy as a scattered photon than the incident photon and has a lower frequency
and longer wavelength. Compton scatter increases patient dose and radiation it is
unwanted radiation low and causes a loss of contrast. The amount of energy
retained by the scattered photon is dependent on the initial energy of the photon.
The higher the initial energy of the photon the greater the energy of the scattered
photon. Energy is also effected by the angle of deflected from the recoil electron.
At a deflection on zero degrees no energy is transferred because the photon is
passing its original direction if the angle of deflection increases to 180 degrees more
energy remains with the scattered photon this is called back scatter.