Mass attenuation coefficient
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The mass attenuation coefficient (also known as the mass absorption coefficient) is a constant describing the fraction of photons removed from a monochromatic x-ray beam by a homogeneous absorber per unit mass.
It is equivalent to the linear attenuation coefficient divided by the density of the absorber (μ/ρ), and is expressed in cm2/g.
The Beer-Lambert law, which describes the attenuation of a homogeneous x-ray beam, can be modified to accommodate the mass attenuation coefficient in the following equation:
I = I0e-(μ/ρ)ρx
- I = transmitted intensity
- I0 = incident intensity
- μ/ρ = mass attenuation coefficient (cm2/g)
- μ = linear attenuation coefficient (cm-1)
- ρ = density (g/cm3)
- ρx = mass thickness (g/cm2)
- x = path length (cm)
- 1. Jacob Beutel, Harold L. Kundel, Richard L. Van Metter. Handbook of Medical Imaging. (2000) ISBN: 9780819477729 - Google Books