JAMES HOLMES / FULMER RESEARCH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES HOLMES / FULMER RESEARCH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Researcher using an X-ray diffractometer to determine the structure of a crystal. A beam of monochromatic X-rays is generated and directed at the crystal. The repeated pattern of the crystal lattice acts like a diffraction grating, diffracting the beam in a way which depends on the arrangement and spacing of the lattice. Here the positions and intensities of the diffracted rays are recorded by a scanning electronic detector and presented in graph form. The positions and intensities of the peaks on the graph will tell the researcher the crystal structure and interatomic spacing of the sample.
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