An X-ray diffractometer

An X-ray diffractometer

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This image is part of the feature X-Ray Centenary

Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/OCMS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: X-ray diffraction crystallography. A crystal of phosphorylase B is bombarded with X-rays to determine its molecular structure. The crystal sample, contained in the phial at centre, is approximately 1.5 x 0.7 millimetres. The repeated pattern of the crystal lattice acts as a diffrac- tion grating, diffracting the beam in a way which depends on the lattice's arrangement and spacing. The scattered rays then strike a detector. The tube at the top of the picture is a cryogenic device which cools the specimen to 100 kelvin (-173 celsius), ensuring the stability of the crystal for the duration of the experiment.

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Keywords: crystal, crystallography, device, diffraction, equipment, instrument, science, scientific, x-ray crystallography, xray

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