MEDICAL APPLICATIONS





Radiation therapy is the treatment using penetrating x-rays, gamma-rays, or particles such as protons or neutrons on the affected region of the body to destroy the cancer cells. To produce the high energy radiation, particle accelerators such as Cobalt-60 radiation therapy unit or clinac 2100 accelerator are used. Radiation therapy is a mordern treatment technique where the results are faster with fewer side effects than other more traditional forms of treatment. Depending upon the position of the radiation source, different types of treatments are used.

There are certain processes in nature that produce many of the naturally occurring radioactive isotopes. Other radioactive isotopes are only available by artificial production. These can be produced from nuclear reactors and high energy particle accelerators like Jefferson Lab. Radioactive isotopes are produced by bombarding a target with charged particles that are boosted in energy by an accelerator. Cyclotrons are one of the most common accelerators used for this purpose. Cyclotrons accelerate protons to hit a target to produce positron emitting radioisotopes, e.g. fluorine-18.