Encyclopedia of Bioastronautics

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurence R. Young, Jeffrey P. Sutton

Particle Track Structure and Biological Implications

  • Dudley T. GoodheadEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10152-1_29-1

Definitions

The track structure of an ionizing charged particle is the stochastic spatial pattern of the inelastic interactions of the particle and all associated secondary charged particles as they pass through matter and impart energy to the molecules or atoms with which they interact. It is this track structure pattern of interactions that sets the initial conditions from which follow the subsequent physico-chemical, chemical, biochemical, and biological consequences of the radiation. Differences in track structure between different types and energies of ionizing radiation can lead to differences in biological consequences, quantitatively and qualitatively.

Introduction

Track structure is the key property that gives ionizing radiation its considerable potency in causing biological effects and determines the relative effectiveness of different types of radiation for a wide variety of effects. The tracks are the stochastic patterns of the interactions of the charged particles as they...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Research Council, HarwellDidcotUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kathryn D. Held
    • 1
  1. 1.Radiation OncologyMassachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA