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Book Review: Fundamentals of Ionizing Radiation Dosimetry

„Fundamentals of Ionizing Radiation Dosimetry“, P. Andreo, D.T. Burns, A.E. Nahum, J. Seuntjens, and F.H. Attix, Wiley VCH 2017, ISBN 978-3-527-40921-1

This recently published book is a wide-ranging follow-up as a second edition to classic textbook “Introduction to Radiological Physics and Radiation Dosimetry” by F.H. Attix from 1986. The book updates on the significant changes in knowledge of dosimetry fundamentals during the last 30 years since the first edition.

Addressed primarily to senior undergraduate and graduate level students, it is organized in a perfectly logical sequence of topics. Interaction mechanisms of charged and neutral particles with matter are described in detail, including the derivation of expressions to differential cross-sections (Chapter 2&3). The quantities and definitions of radiation field properties (Chapter 4&5) form the ground to macroscopic aspects (Chapter 6) of radiation fields and their characterization in terms of beam quality (Chapter 7). An overview on the Monte Carlo simulation of radiation transport through matter is provided, covering the general basics up to applications in modern dosimetry (Chapter 8). The current knowledge on cavity theories (Chapter 9) establishes the foundation for subsequent chapters on more practical topics. The general characteristics of radiation detectors (Chapter 10) are amplified in sections on primary standards (Chapter 11), ionization chambers (Chapter 12), chemical and solid-state detectors (Chapter 13&14). The conception of reference dosimetry with ionization chambers in external beam therapy (Chapter 15) is presented in detail and is followed by current aspects of small field photon dosimetry (Chapter 16). The reference dosimetry for diagnostic and interventional radiology is covered (Chapter 17) as well as the dosimetry of radionuclide sources, including fundamentals for sealed and un-sealed sources (Chapter 18). Finally, although today of less practical importance, a discourse on the dosimetry of neutrons is provided (Chapter 19).

Overall details are given on a comprehensive level allowing the practicing radiation physicist to understand the theory of radiation dosimetry from microscopic basics to everyday practice in modern radiotherapy. Besides the aforementioned logical order, each chapter is kept self-consistent, allowing to deepen knowledge in all relevant fields of radiation dosimetry. In each chapter original sources are referenced which allows understanding the underlying historic evolution of radiation dosimetry until today.

The authors are leading scientists in radiation dosimetry with more than 600 papers in the field and co-authored national and international recommendations for radiotherapy dosimetry.

This textbook is the undoubted successor of Attix' classical book on dosimetry and can be considered indispensible for medical physics departments and medical physics educational programs.

Jörg Wulff (Essen) & Klemens Zink (Gießen)