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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A beam intensity monitor for the Loma Linda cancer therapy proton accelerator.

A beam intensity monitor was tested in a 230-MeV proton beam at the Loma Linda Proton Therapy Accelerator during its commissioning at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The intensity monitor was designed to regulate the beam intensity extracted from the proton synchrotron. The proton beam is tunable between 70 and 250 MeV with an adjustable intensity between 10(10) and 10(11) protons per spill. A beam spill is typically 1 s long with a 2-s repetition period. The intensity monitor must be radiation hard, expose minimum mass to the beam, and measure intensity to 1% in 1-ms time intervals. To this end, a 5-cm-thick xenon gas scintillator optically coupled to a photomultiplier tube (PMT) was tested to measure its response to the proton beam. The gas cell was operated at 1.2 atm of pressure and has 12.7-microns-thick titanium entrance and exit foils. The total mass exposed to the beam is 0.14 g/cm2 and is dominated by the titanium windows. This mass corresponds to a range attenuation equal to 1.4 mm of water. The energy lost to the xenon gas is about 70 keV per proton. Each passing proton will produce approximately 2000 photons. With a detection efficiency on the order of 0.05% for this UV light, one would anticipate over 10(10) photoelectrons per second. In a 1-ms time bin there will be approximately 10(7) photoelectrons. This yields a resolution limited by systematics. For unregulated 0.4-s proton spills, we observe a response bandwidth in excess of 10(4) Hz. While signal-to-noise and linearity were not easily measured, we estimate as few as 10(3) protons can be observed suggesting a dynamic range in excess of 10(5) is available.[1]


  1. A beam intensity monitor for the Loma Linda cancer therapy proton accelerator. Coutrakon, G., Miller, D., Kross, B.J., Anderson, D.F., DeLuca, P., Siebers, J. Medical physics. (1991) [Pubmed]
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