Abstract

Recent developments in our knowledge of X-rays have made it possible to use them in the study of all sorts of solid matter. Truly solid matter consists exclusively of crystals each of which is composed of atoms having a perfectly definite and regular arrangement. These atoms form parallel planes in various positions through the crystal just as the hills of corn planted by machine on a level field form parallel straight lines in several positions across the field. The distance between any two adjacent planes determines the angle at which X-rays are reflected (in phase) by these planes. By exposing a finely powdered crystal to a beam of X-rays reflections can be obtained simultaneously from all the parallel planes in the crystal. These reflections make angles with the incident beam of X-rays which depend directly upon the distances between the planes of atoms. All crystals of the same kind produce reflections which are identical in intensity and positions while two crystals which are not alike produce reflections which are unlike.1 Accordingly, every kind of crystal can be made to produce its own characteristic X-ray pattern or autograph.

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