Researcher using an X-ray diffractometer

Researcher using an X-ray diffractometer


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Researcher using X-ray diffraction crystallography equipment to determine the crystal structure of a protein. A beam of monochromatic X- rays is generated & directed at the crystal (held in the apparatus at back). The repeated pattern of the crystal lattice acts as a diffraction grating, diffracting the beam in a way which depends on the lattice's arrangement and spacing. The scattered rays then strike a detector plate; the intensity at each point is recorded on X-ray sensitive photographic film, or else, as here, by electronic equipment which digitises the data for analysis & presentation on a computer (see monitor on left).

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