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photoelectric effect

1. n. [Formation Evaluation]

A gamma ray interaction in which the gamma ray is fully absorbed by a bound electron. If the energy transferred exceeds the binding energy to the atom, the electron will be ejected. Normally, the ejected electron will be replaced within the material and a characteristic X-ray will be emitted with an energy that is dependent on the atomic number of the material. The highest probability for this effect occurs at low gamma ray energy and in a material of high atomic number. The photoelectric effect is the principle behind the PEF log, which identifies lithology.

See: Compton scatteringcross section

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