A non-mathematical introduction to X-ray diffraction

Charles A. Taylor

University College, Cardiff, UK

Teaching aims

To help students, industrialists, etc., to understand what is the potential of X-ray crystallography with an outline indication of how the various techniques can be applied.


It could be used as a background reader at school level, as an introductory text for metallurgists or materials scientists needing a short course, or as an introduction for non-specialists with some science background.


A general interest in physical scence up to about University entrance standard is all that is required.

Practical resources

A list of references for further reading is given at the end. Access to a standard X-ray laboratory with various types of cameras would be needed if used as a full course.

Time required for teaching

The material itself could be dealt with in an hour or two - but it could equally form the basis, with expansion by the teacher - of about a twenty hour course.