In this investigation, five experimental data sets are used to evaluate the ability of the EGSnrc Monte Carlo code to calculate the change in chamber response associated with changes in wall material and cavity dimension at Co60 energies. Calculations of the ratios of response per unit mass of air as a function of cavity volume for walls ranging from polystyrene to lead are generally within 1%-3% of experiments. A few exceptions, which are discussed, include 20%-30% discrepancies with experiments involving lead-walled chambers used by Attix [J. Res. Natl. Bur. Stand. 60, 235-243 (1958)] and Cormack and Johns [Radiat. Res. 1, 133-157 (1954)], and 5% discrepancies for the graphite chamber of Attix (relative to data for other wall materials). Simulations of the experiment by Whyte [Radiat. Res. 6, 371-379 (1957)], which varied cavity air pressure in a large cylindrical chamber, are generally within 0.5% (wall/electrode materials ranging from beryllium to copper). In all cases, the agreement between measurements and EGSnrc calculations is much better when the response as a function of cavity height or air pressure is considered for each wall material individually. High-precision measurements [Burns, Phys. Med. Biol. 52, 7125-7135 (2007)] of the response per unit mass as a function of cavity height for a graphite chamber are also accurately reproduced, and validate previous tests of the transport mechanics of EGSnrc. Based on the general agreement found in this work between corresponding experimental results and EGSnrc calculations it can be concluded that EGSnrc can reliably be used to calculate changes in response with changes in various wall materials and cavity dimensions at Co60 energies within a accuracy of a few percent or less.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.3013701
Journal Medical Physics
Citation
La Russa, D.J. (Daniel J.), & Rogers, D.W.O. (2008). Accuracy of EGSnrc calculations at 60Co energies for the response of ion chambers configured with various wall materials and cavity dimensions. Medical Physics, 35(12), 5629–5640. doi:10.1118/1.3013701