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X-rays 1 – Properties and Atomic Spectra

X-ray tube with a molybdenum (Mo) anode

X-ray tube with a molybdenum (Mo) anode

X-ray tube with a molybdenum (Mo) anode

Monocrystal (NaCl) in the X-ray machine

Monocrystal (NaCl)

Monocrystal - Wear plastic gloves when handling

X-rays are electromagnetic waves whose wavelength range is comparable to atomic separation in crystals. When they are incident on such a crystal, the waves are diffracted into patterns that depend on the structure of the crystal. These patterns are used to determine the chemical structure of unknown materials in the field of x-ray crystallography.

In this experiment, you will use a goniometer, NaCl crystal, and Geiger-Muller counter tube to investigate these properties with computer-controlled apparatus. There are two X-ray experiment sessions; this is the first one.

Here, you will examine the x-ray energy spectrum (which is a superposition of the bremsstrahlung radiation continuum and the characteristic x-ray radiation of each crystal) and its dependence on current/voltage. You will also use Bragg’s law of diffraction to measure the lattice spacing of the NaCl crystal. 

Then, an atomic filer is introduced to study photoelectron absorption through the absorption edges (the sharp jumps in the diagram to the left/right/etc). include image [absorption edges.png] into the text

Current students can find more information on Learn Ultra.