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Need to learn Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter

  1. Sep 14, 2011 #1
    Need to learn "Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter"

    So I talked to a professor about a possible research project I could do with him and he gave me a book from where I am supposed to learn mainly two topics, namely "Passage of Radiation Through Matter" and "Semiconductor Detectors". However I don't have any background in Nuclear or Modern Physics, and this semester is my first time encountering Quantum Physics. So I would like to ask you all what I need to learn from Nuclear or Modern Physics before I can start understanding those topics.

    Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2011 #2
    Re: Need to learn "Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter"

    Depending upon the depth of the project, you can get by without any. Cember's Introduction to Health Physics and Knolls' Radiation Measurement and Detection both cover this subject to a good degree, and Knolls also gives the ins and outs of using those semi-conductor detectors to measure that radiation.

    I'm not familiar with either of those two books, so they may be even more in depth and cover the subject using more principles of QM.
     
  4. Sep 15, 2011 #3
    Re: Need to learn "Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter"

    My job is going to have to do with the computational aspect of it, as in using GEANT4 or something like that, so I would guess I wouldn't require that much in-depth knowledge. So you're saying that I don't need to know any Nuclear Physics to start understanding those topics? Still I would like to have at least some background knowledge.
     
  5. Sep 15, 2011 #4
    Re: Need to learn "Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter"

    I'm not familiar with GEANT4, but it appears to be similar to the shielding aspect of MCNPX, so yes, I would say you don't need QM (didn't need it for MCNPX), but it's always a good idea just to understand it more in depth.
     
  6. Sep 15, 2011 #5
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  7. Sep 15, 2011 #6
    Re: Need to learn "Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter"

    It looks appropriate for a junior or senior (I assume that is where you're at since it's a QM class) who understands partial derivatives.
     
  8. Sep 15, 2011 #7
    Re: Need to learn "Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter"

    My humble opinion is that you should focus your attention on the physics buried in the GEANT4 simulation package. I only used GEANT4 briefly before switching to EGSnrc, which was more appropriate for my research, but you will be specifying a good number of simulation parameters for basic and not-so-basic physical interactions. It isn't always appropriate to just use the default values, and a poor understanding of the underlying physics could propagate into your results.

    Once you understand the capabilities and limitations of the software then I would take that knowledge and use it while reading the other materials so you can take notes as you go about what is relevant and what isn't.

    GEANT4 has lots of great documentation, especially for the underlying physics. It is extremely dense reading and probably overkill for 99% of users, but loading up the software and seeing what user-specified parameters there are for your particular type of simulation can help you find what is important.
     
  9. Sep 16, 2011 #8
    Re: Need to learn "Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter"

    That looks like a great book. In the Preface it is stated that the book was based on a course taught to 3rd and 4th year students. So that should make it very accessible at the undergraduate level.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  10. Sep 16, 2011 #9
    Re: Need to learn "Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter"

    But yes, that's my question. I'm only a second year and I haven't had a modern physics course, so which chapters/topics should I study if I am to have a good understanding of passage of particles through matter.
     
  11. Sep 17, 2011 #10

    Choppy

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    Re: Need to learn "Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter"

    Why don't you just read the chapters the professor recommended you read?

    You may have some difficulty understanding things like the derivations of some of the scattering cross sections, but if you get stuck on something you don't understand, look it up elsewhere, or talk to your professor about it. It's likely not essential that you understand every minute detail to move the project forward. (That being said, since you're a student, it's a good idea to learn as much as you can for the level you're at and then fill in the holes as you advance in your studies).
     
  12. Sep 20, 2011 #11
    Re: Need to learn "Passage of Radiation/Particles through Matter"

    Choppy has the right of it I think. Your professor knew your level when she/he took you on the project. Just be willing to learn as you go and you will be fine. Ask questions and research things you don't understand independently.

    My guess is that you will be simply creating input decks for GEANT4 - probably just changing already existing input decks for slight modifications and running them. That would be my guess given the information you have provided.
     
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