Why is positron emission important?
One important medical application is called Positron Emission Tomography (PET).
In this imaging technique. a patient consumes a small amount of radioactive substance that collects in targeted organs to be imaged. When a positron is emitted, it reacts with a nearby electron and emits two 512 keV gamma rays, which are detected by the PET scanner surrounding the patient. By measuring the location and timing between the emission of the two gamma rays, the machine is able to reconstruct an image of the organ where the radiotracer collected inside the body of the patient.