Crystallography Matters!

Resources for crystallographic education

Introduction to the calculation of structure factors

S. C. Wallwork

University of Nottingham, England

Teaching aims

To help students with some basic qualitative knowledge of X-ray diffraction and crystal structure determination to put this knowledge on a quantitative basis.


This approach would be suitable for undergraduate students in most science subjects who need to understand how some of the basic calculations in X-ray diffraction may be done.


A general qualitative introduction to X-ray diffraction is assumed. Some familiarity with the representation of waves as projections of circular motion and with complex numbers is assumed.

Practical resources

No specific practical resources are required but the availability of detailed information about structures on which practice calculations could be made would be an advantage.

Time required for teaching

Depending on the previous acquaintance of the students with X-ray diffraction this course could occupy anything from 1 to 5 lectures.