Author (Your Name)

Keith P. Wilson, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Physics and Astronomy Dept.


John M. Dudley

Second Advisor

Donald B. Allen


This paper is intended to serve as an introduction to X-ray Crystallography, while developing some of the expressions required to understand the principles behind structure analysis using X-ray diffraction from single crystals. To fulfill these goals, I have divided the paper into three parts. Part I involves a discussion of the nature of X-rays and their interaction with crystals. Radiation production is discussed, followed by a review of the methods used to obtain a monochromatic beam. The principles of diffraction in both direct and reciprocal space are set forth. In Part II, Structure Factors and the relations between these factors and electron density are developed. This involves a discussion of the phase problem. In part III, I demonstrate the experimental techniques used during the course of the project. This includes a discussion of the Rotation, Oscillation and Weissenberg Methods, along with a determination of crystal alignment procedure, axial length determination, and photograph indexing. These should be of considerable use to future students investigating Crystallography for the first time.


X-Rays, Crystallography, radiation


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