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A Forward Scattering Approximation to Dose Calculation Using the Linear Boltzmann Transport Equation

B Catt

B Catt*, M Snyder , Wayne State University, Detroit, MI


TH-E-BRE-2 Thursday 1:00PM - 2:50PM Room: Ballroom E

Purpose: To investigate the use of the linear Boltzmann transport equation as a dose calculation tool which can account for interface effects, while still having faster computation times than Monte Carlo methods. In particular, we introduce a forward scattering approximation, in hopes of improving calculation time without a significant hindrance to accuracy.

Methods: Two coupled Boltzmann transport equations were constructed, one representing the fluence of photons within the medium, and the other, the fluence of electrons. We neglect the scattering term within the electron transport equation, resulting in an extreme forward scattering approximation to reduce computational complexity. These equations were then solved using a numerical technique for solving partial differential equations, known as a finite difference scheme, where the fluence at each discrete point in space is calculated based on the fluence at the previous point in the particle's path. Using this scheme, it is possible to develop a solution to the Boltzmann transport equations by beginning with boundary conditions and iterating across the entire medium. The fluence of electrons can then be used to find the dose at any point within the medium.

Results: Comparisons with Monte Carlo simulations indicate that even simplistic techniques for solving the linear Boltzmann transport equation yield expected interface effects, which many popular dose calculation algorithms are not capable of predicting. Implementation of a forward scattering approximation does not appear to drastically reduce the accuracy of this algorithm.

Conclusion: Optimized implementations of this algorithm have been shown to be very accurate when compared with Monte Carlo simulations, even in build up regions where many models fail. Use of a forward scattering approximation could potentially give a reasonably accurate dose distribution in a shorter amount of time for situations where a completely accurate dose distribution is not required, such as in certain optimization algorithms.

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