Some effects of magnetic fields on energy deposition in tissue for low-let radiations
The presence of a moderately strong magnetic field, uniform and static, in the irradiated medium modifies the spatial distribution of events. The imposition of a magnetic field produces elecron helices, characterised by their radii and pitches. The differential and integral distribution of track lengths, corresponding to electrons slowing down in water in a magnetic field, have been computed as function of radii and pitches for 200 kVp X-rays and for 60 Co gamma-rays. Theoretical work has shown that the probability of energy deposition in a smaller volume of the absorbing medium has been significantly increased as a result of the presence of a magnetic field during photon irradiation. The distributions of track lengths as function of electron radii and pitches have been studied in strong magnetic fields (1 - 20 Tesla). The trajectories of an electron moving in water for different emission angles (up to π/2) and for magnetic fields of 5 and 10 Tesla, have been computed. The data for stopping powers used in this study, cover electron energies of 30 eV to 1200 keV (initial energy). In the presence of a magnetic field, each electron spiral has enclosed a conical volume. As the magnetic field increases, so the volume enclosed by the spiral decrease resulting in a substantial increase in the number of hits (events) compared with events in the same volume in the absence of a magnetic field. The experimental work started with the study of the characteristics of a spherical walled proportional counter. The frequency density, y.f(y), energy probability density, y^2f(y), distributions and their averages overline Y_F and overline YD respectively, have been computed on the basis of the pulse height distribution of low-LET radiation. Gamma rays from 137Cs and 60Co have been used with and without a magnetic field. Transverse magnetic fields of 0.0304, 0.13, 0.24 and 0.34 Tesla as well as a longitudinal magnetic field of 0.0304 Tesla have been used in microdosimetric measurements. An average sphere diameter of 2 μm has been simulated for the purpose. In the presence of the transverse magnetic fields, an increase of up to ~ 45% and ~ 78% has been obtained in the values of overline Y_F and overline Y_D respectively for ^137Cs gamma rays. For ^60Co gamma rays the values of both overline Y_F and overline Y_D increase by up to about 97%. For the longitudinal magnetic field when compared with the corresponding transversal magnetic field, a substantial increase in the value of overline Y_F has been found for ^137Cs gamma rays and a less significant increase for ^60Co gamma rays. Also, a significant increase in overline Y_D has been obtained for both indirectly ionizing radiations.