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Radiation physics: photoelectric absorption

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Radiation physics: photoelectric absorption

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  1. In photelectric absorption the incident photon interacts with an electron from one of the inner orbiting shells of an atom.
  2. This electron is displaced from its orbit as a photelectron - and all the incident energy is lost in this process.
  3. An electron from an outer orbit (k) then drops into the inner orbit (l) to fill the ''vacancy''.
  4. As this electron moves to a lower energy shell it emits ''characteristic radiation'' which is specific to the absorbing material.
  5. Photoelectric absorption is highly dependent on the atomic number of the absorbing tissue and is most important at low kV when theCompton effectis reduced.