Mid Term Review

Finding fresh fascination for the fantastic Fano factor

Mr Carl (Qiheng) Yang
Applied Mathematics, ANU

The ratio of variance to mean, or the Fano factor, is a simple measure of the dispersion of data when the underlying distribution is unknown. When the statistics is known, we can turned the relation on its head and extract additional information from the data. When dealing with polychromatic X-rays, where the photon statistics follows a Poisson distribution, the Fano factor conceals the spectral information of the X-ray, which we can unravel. The ability to probe the X-ray spectrum without expensive spectral-resolving detectors opens up exciting new avenues in X-ray computed tomography (CT), which is otherwise plagued by artefacts caused by the X-ray spectrum. We demonstrate several ways of using the Fano Factor to both correct for artefacts and obtain quantitative data in X-ray CT reconstruction. 

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