Home Contents Glossary Search Help

Interactions in matter
Previous Up Next


The three primary ways in which a gamma-ray photon can interact with matter are:
  • Photoelectric absorption;
  • Compton scattering; and,
  • Pair production.

Photoelectric absorption predominates for low-energy gamma-rays (up to ~300 keV).
Pair production predominates for high-energy gamma-rays (~5-10 MeV).
Compton scattering is the most important process for energies in between these two extremes.

This section contains the following topics:

Photoelectric absorption
Compton scattering
Pair production


The University of Liverpool
1999, 2000 The University of Liverpool, Department of Physics

EPSRCProject funded by The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Materials Teaching Educational ResourcesWebsite developed and maintained by the MATTER Project