The effective atomic number revisited in the light of modern photon-interaction cross-section databases

S.R. Manohara, S.M. Hanagodimath, K. S. Thind, Leif Gerward

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The effective atomic number, Z(eff), has been calculated for fatty acids and cysteine. It is shown that Z(eff) is a useful parameter for low-Z materials at any energy above 1 key. Absorption edges of medium-Z elements may complicate the energy dependence of Z(eff) below 10 key. The notion of Z(eff) is perhaps most useful at energies where Compton scattering is dominating, and where Z(eff) is equal to the mean atomic number, <Z >, over a wide energy range around 1 MeV.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Issue number4-5
Pages (from-to)784-787
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Photon-interaction cross-sections
  • Effective atomic number
  • Biomolecules

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