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A novel type of Compton scatter imaging system is described having the following features: maximum possible use is made of the available scatter radiation; and mechanical constraints permit millisecond 2-D scan times. The sensitivity of this type of scatter system is compared with that of transmission radiography, and it is found that the former is to be preferred for `radiologically thin' objects. An important medical example is the imaging in back scatter mode of radiation-sensitive organs lying near the surface of the body. Some industrial applications of the scatter technique also suggest themselves: e.g. for section imaging of `thin' sheets, plastic components, or back scatter imaging of surface regions of bulky objects, for which the conventional transmission technique gives inadequate penetration. Data correction for attenuation effects and multiple scatter radiation is illustrated using scatter images of objects drawn from the fields of medical and industrial radiology.