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Experimental measurement of attenuation and scattering in matter

A number of experiments, including attenuation, X-ray Anomalous Fine Structure and Diffraction Anomalous Fine Structure measurements, are able to investigate interesting regions of physics and require fairly precise theoretical input for comparison. They can be critical tests of theory and investigate new areas of physics. A fundamental difficulty is that although the best experimental literature can claim 1% precision, variation exists for almost all elements and X-ray energies of around 5% - 15%.

The figure below shows the importance of careful attenuation measurement in differentiating between different theories.

Recent experiments by our group at Tsukuba, Japan, and the Advanced Photon Source, Chicago, have proven the possibility of measurements approaching 0.02% - 0.2% accuracy. This revolutionises the experimental database and raise critical and incisive questions about the deviations of different theories. It allows new structure and processes to be investigated and tested for the first time. Our work has recently been cited as defining the new benchmark for precision studies of neutral atoms. Clearly, this is closely related to the theoretical investigations.


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