X-Rays: Optical Elements

Authored by: Eberhard Spiller

Encyclopedia of Optical and Photonic Engineering

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  September  2015

Print ISBN: 9781439850978
eBook ISBN: 9781351247184
Adobe ISBN:


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X-ray diffraction provided the first means to deflect x-rays by a substantial amount. It established that the wavelength was in the 1 A range, and it became possible to deduce the structure of a crystal with atomic resolution. The success of x-ray diffraction has two important foundations. First, the small scattering amplitudes from individual atoms in a periodic structure add in phase in certain directions. The second important feature of x-ray diffraction is the reduction of radiation damage. Imaging of nonperiodic objects with diffraction-limited or atomic resolution is still a challenge for the future. This entry discusses some of the features associated with x-ray diffraction.

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