The physics of proton therapy has advanced considerably since it was proposed in 1946. Today analytical equations and numerical simulation methods are available to predict and characterize many aspects of proton therapy. This article reviews the basic aspects of the physics of proton therapy, including proton interaction mechanisms, proton transport calculations, the determination of dose from therapeutic and stray radiations, and shielding design. The article discusses underlying processes as well as selected practical experimental and theoretical methods. We conclude by briefly speculating on possible future areas of research of relevance to the physics of proton therapy.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Physics in Medicine and Biology
Newhauser, W., & Zhang, R. (2015). The physics of proton therapy. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 60 (8), R155-R209. https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/60/8/R155