Crystallography Matters!

Resources for crystallographic education

Introduction to neutron powder diffractometry

E. Arzi

Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 2989, Tehran, Iran

Teaching aims

To help students to understand the physical principles of experimental techniques involved in the design of monochromators, filters and collimators in neutron powder diffractometry and to give an outline of the fundamental concepts of neutron powder diffractometers.


This would be suitable for the final year of undergraduate courses or as a part of an introductory crystallography course at the post-graduate level especially for those who wish to start doing research in the field of neutron crystallography.


A general knowledge of crystal structures and systematic absences and some acquaintance with the basic principles of diffraction phenomena is needed.

Practical resources

No specific practical resources are required though a visit to a research reactor centre having a neutron powder diffractometer in operation would be helpful.

Time required for teaching

Depending on the previous knowledge and experience of the students, this material would require anything from 4 to 6 hours of teaching and discussion. More time would be required if the text is extended by the teacher or if a visit to a research reactor is arranged.