linear energy transfer (LET)


ECSS-E-ST-10-04C Rev.1


rate of energy deposit from a slowing energetic particle with distance travelled in matter, the energy being imparted to the material


  • NOTE Normally used to describe the ionization track caused by passage of an ion. LET is material-dependent and is also a function of particle energy. For ions involved in space radiation effects, it increases with decreasing energy (it also increases at high energies, beyond the minimum ionizing energy). LET allows different ions to be considered together by simply representing the ion environment as the summation of the fluxes of all ions as functions of their LETs. This simplifies single-event upset calculation. The rate of energy loss of a particle, which also includes emitted secondary radiations, is the stopping power.
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