661 tures, such as occurs in stellar atmospheres and in thermonuc1ear processes, will not be considered 1. Because photoelectric absorption predominates completely at low photon energies, and penetration theory is elementary under these conditions, attention is directed in this artic1e to photon energies above 20 kev. On the high energy side, this artic1e does not cover the cascade shower processes which are dealt 2 with in cosmic ray studies * In this connection it is recalled that the cascade shower process, which involves electrons and positrons besides X rays, becomes predominant above 10 Mev in heavy elements, and above 100 Mev in light ones. Theories developed for the study of cascade showers in cosmic rays rely on assumptions about the prob ability of interactions with matter which are adequate only at energies of the order of 1 Gev or more. Below this energy there is a gap in which penetration phenomena are qualitatively known and understood but have not yet been calculated in detail. A few detailed experimental studies which have been made at energies up to 300 Mev will be reviewed in this article.