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Iron to block radiation

  1. Nov 26, 2012 #1
    Does anyone know how Iron compares to lead as a medium to block / absorb radiation? Do you know what wavelengths or spectrum iron is most effective against?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2012 #2


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Photon radiation? In other words, X-rays and gamma radiation?
    Lead is better per mass, and has a higher density in addition (so it is much better per length).
    For high photon energies (>100keV), the radiation length is the relevant quantity. You can find numbers at the particle data group.

    Iron: Radiation length 13.84 g -2 or 1.757 cm
    Lead: Radiation length 6.37 g cm-2 or 0.5612 cm

    For low-energy photons, it depends on the energy.
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