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Linear energy loss

Linear energy loss (LET) is a parameter that determines the quality of ionizing radiation; characterizes the energy lost by an ionizing particle or quantum of electromagnetic radiation per unit path in the irradiated medium.

It is measured in kiloelectronvolts per micron (keV / micron). With some exceptions, the more LET the radiation, the greater its biological effectiveness. In the practice of radiation protection, the values ​​of LET in water are used to determine the quality factor (FC) of the radiation under consideration according to the table recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Units and Measurements.

Ratio of LET - FC (keV / μ in water)
LET FC
3.5 or lower 1
3.5-7.0 1-2
7.0-23.0 2-5
23.0—53.0 5-10
53.0-175.0 10—20