Interactive Tutorial about Diffraction
Interactive example : Scattering from different atoms

Basic examples
Single atom
Pair of atoms
Row of atoms

Interactive examples
1D crystal builder
Polygons of atoms
Different atoms
Ewald sphere
Bragg's law


It is instructive to plot the respective intensities scattered by two different atoms into a common picture. This allows you to quickly achieve an understanding about the different scattering behavior of the atoms. The controls on the right allow you to choose two atoms. The server will then calculate the respective intensities and present them in a common plot. The image on the left shows the respective intensities on the correct relative scale. In the right image, the intensities have been scaled to identical values at the origin of reciprocal space. This images allows you to focus on the changes in the shape of the different scattering curves. You can also select whether to calculate X-ray or neutron intensities. The calculated range for the scattering intensity h is fixed to 0 to 1 Å-1.

Start exploring and try to answer the question below:

  • How does the X-ray diffraction pattern change as you move from lighter atoms to heavier atoms ? Keep an eye on the scale and the width of the diffraction pattern.

  • Compare the scattering of a neutral atom and a respective ion. What difference do you observe between a neutral atom and a corresponding positive, respectively negative ion ?

  • Describe the difference between X-ray and neutron scattering results.

Once you are done, click here to verify your answers.

© Th. Proffen and R.B. Neder, 2003