The variation of the ratio of absorbed dose to cavity ionization with the depth of penetration of high-energy electron beams in water and carbon media is calculated. Most of the variation is shown to arise from the density effect, present at relativistic energies in liquid and solid media but not in gases. Combinations of theoretical and experimental spectra were used at various depths of interest. The spectra include the contributions of secondary and higher order electrons, which are shown to influence the results substantially. The effect of gas size and gas and wall mismatch are briefly analyzed.

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