4. METHOD OF SOLUTION
The problem geometry is divided into zones of homogeneous atomic composition bounded by sections of planes and quadrics. The material of each zone is a specified element or combination of elements.
For a photon history, the trajectory is generated by following the photon from scattering to scattering using the various probability distributions to find distances between collisions, types of collisions, types of secondaries, and their energies and scattering angles. The photon interactions are photoelectric absorption (atomic ionization), coherent scattering, incoherent scattering, and pair production. The secondary photons which are followed include bremsstrahlung, fluorescence photons, and positron-electron annihilation radiation.
The condensed-history Monte Carlo method is used for the electron transport. In a history, the spatial steps taken by an electron are precomputed and may include the effects of a number of collisions. The corresponding scattering angle and energy loss in the step are found from the multiple scattering distributions of these quantities. Atomic ionization and secondary particles are generated with the step according to the probabilities for their occurrence.
Electron energy loss is through inelastic electron-electron collisions, bremsstrahlung generation, and polarization of the medium (density effect). Included in the loss is the fluctuation due to the variation in the number of energy-loss collisions in a given Monte Carlo step (straggling). Scattering angular distributions are determined from elastic nuclear-collision cross sections corrected for electron-electron interactions. The secondary electrons which are followed included knock-on, pair, Auger (through atomic ionizations), Compton, and photoelectric electrons.