A simple method to measure proton beam energy in a standard medical cyclotron*

  • J. W. Burrage
  • A. H. Asad
  • R. A. Fox
  • R. I. Price
  • A. M. Campbell
  • S. Siddiqui
Technical Paper


A simple and rapid technique to measure the proton beam energy in the external beam line of a medical cyclotron has been examined. A stack of 0.1 mm thick high purity copper (Cu) foils was bombarded and the relative activity of65Zn produced in each foil was compared to a computational model that predicted activity, based on proton stopping power, reaction cross-sectional data, and beam energy. In the model, the beam energy was altered iteratively until the best match between computed and measured relative activities of the stack of disks was obtained. The main advantage of this method is that it does not require the comparison of the activities of different isotopes of zinc arising from (p, xn) reactions in the Cu, which would require the gamma photon detector being calibrated for different energy responses. Using this technique the proton beam energy of a nominally 18 MeV standard isochronous medical cyclotron was measured as 17.49±0.04 (SD) MeV, with a precision of 0.2 % CV.

Key words

cyclotron beam energy copper foils 65Zn isotope 


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Copyright information

© Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Burrage
    • 5
  • A. H. Asad
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. A. Fox
    • 5
    • 3
  • R. I. Price
    • 1
    • 4
  • A. M. Campbell
    • 5
  • S. Siddiqui
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical Technology and PhysicsSir Charles Gairdner HospitalPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Imaging and Applied PhysicsCurtin University of TechnologyPerthAustralia
  3. 3.School of PhysicsUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  4. 4.School of SurgeryUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Medical Engineering & PhysicsRoyal Perth HospitalPerthAustralia

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