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The earliest theories of radiation effects in metals were based on the simplest assumptions. For example, theoretical treatments of atomic collision have been dominated largely by what may be described as billiard-ball dynamics. These treatments have generally overestimated the “hardness” of the atoms and ignored the inherent anisotropy imposed by the crystallinity of the material. It has become increasingly apparent that a major segment of radiation effects theory that must be improved substantially is in the area of the details of the collision processes. A number of studies, both experimental and theoretical, have contributed notably recently.
It is intended to review this segment of radiation effects theory, bringing under one heading the latest contributions. The review will start with the nature of the original collision and proceed in a straightforward manner through all the stages of the various displacement processes—primary displacements, secondary displacements and cascades, thermal and displacement spikes, and focusing. More precise information concerning interatomic interaction is needed for an accurate description of each of these processes.
Section Leader, Atomics International, Canoga Park, Calif.