Synchrotron X ray sources in the Earth sciences



The importance of X rays in the Earth sciences can be traced back to 1915, when the Braggs first used this energetic form of electromagnetic radiation to determine the atomic level structures of minerals. This basic structural information is now an essential part of our knowledge about the Earth and its dynamic processes. During the past 20 years, major advances in experimental and theoretical methods, X ray instrumentation, X ray sources, and computer automation have resulted in significant gains in our ability to study the structure, bonding, and composition of Earth materials.