Why does linear energy transfer decrease with increasing proton energy?

I get the following graph for LET vs energy in silicon subject to a proton beam:

This is in accordance to results from PSTAR. However, I am not sure of the underlying physics that would justify such a distrbution. Is it because a high energy particle would traverse much faster within a material, thus causing lower ionization? Could someone kindly confirm? Any feedback would be highly appreciated!

Isn’t that just dE/dx (the Bethe-Bloch formula for ionization energy loss)? As the proton momentum goes up, dE/dx goes down.

Yes. See just about any nuclear physics or nuclear instrumentation text book.

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