PXR: Powder Methods of X-Ray Analysis

The Powder or Debye-Scherrer method is the standard method for obtaining crystal lattice spacings. You may acquire background as you go if you have no background in crystal physics. This experiment can give lattice parameters to about four figure accuracy.

Peter Debye won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1936. Other Nobel Prizes involving crystallography include Max von Laue (Physics 1914) Lawrence Bragg and William Bragg (Physics 1915), Watson, Crick, and Wilkins (Medicine 1962), Dorothy Hodgkin (Chemistry 1964), UofT alumnus Bertram Brockhouse and Clifford Shull (Physics 1994), Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz, and Ada Yonath (Chemistry 2009), Dan Shechtman (Chemistry 2011), and many more


Write-Up in PDF Format or Microsoft Word Format.

(The experiment is currently located in MP226; last write-up revision: October 2021.)

– Current (September 2018) instructions for developing X-ray film in PDF Format or Microsoft Word Format.

Additional resources:

Photo of student working on Powder X-Ray Diffraction experiment

3rd year Engineering Science student, David Shirokoff, working on the Powder Method of X-Ray analysis.