Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics and Astronomy

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Endre Takacs

Committee Member

Dr. Delphine Dean

Committee Member

Dr. Joan Marler


The effects of high-dose radiation are well-documented, and are understood to be harmful to the human body. On the other hand, the effects of low-dose radiation are much less understood. There is debate over whether or not there are negative, positive, or no effects at all from low-dose radiation. One of the reasons why these effects are not well known is because there aren't as many studies done on this type of radiation. It is a lot harder to classify the effects of radiation at low doses due to many external factors. However, the Clemson Medical Physics lab has been at the forefront of low-dose x-ray radiation research.

The lab has designed a device that reduces the effects of outside influence, and is able to irradiate cells with highly characterized x-rays to deliver low-dose radiation with great accuracy. One downside to the device, however, was that it was limited in the dose that it can impart, only being able to deliver a few mGy before overheating.

A new set-up was developed in order to expand the range of doses that it can impart on cells. These changes involved moving the x-ray source so it directly hits the target with bremsstrahlung x-rays, and adding in a filter feature to allow for extra control of the x-rays delivered. Preliminary results show that the system is in working order, although users need to be careful to avoid over-saturating the detector to prevent double and triple counting of photons.



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