Chapter 5.1 Dynamical theory of X-ray diffraction

Reciprocal space

First Online Edition (2006)

Part 5. Dynamical theory and its applications

  1. A. Authier

Published Online: 1 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000569

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Authier, A. 2006. Dynamical theory of X-ray diffraction. International Tables for Crystallography. B:5:5.1:534–551.

Author Information

  1. Laboratoire de Minéralogie-Cristallographie, Université P. et M. Curie, 4 Place Jussieu, F-75252 Paris CEDEX 05, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2006


This chapter presents the dynamical theory of the diffraction of X-rays by perfect crystals. The most important part is devoted to the case of plane waves (Section 5.1.2). The solutions of the propagation equation of plane waves in crystals are given in Section 5.1.3 using the concept of wavefields introduced by Ewald for X-rays in 1913 and by Bloch for electrons in 1928 (known in solid-state physics as Bloch waves). They are applied to the interpretation of the main properties of dynamical diffraction: anomalous transmission, standing waves and Pendellösung. The expressions for the diffracted intensity are given in both the transmission (Section 5.1.6) and the reflection (Section 5.1.7) cases. The last part (Section 5.1.8) concerns the diffraction of real and spherical waves, which is described in a qualitative way.


  • dynamical theory;
  • X-ray scattering;
  • propagation equation;
  • wavefields;
  • wavevectors;
  • boundary conditions;
  • dispersion surfaces;
  • Bragg’s law;
  • transmission geometry;
  • reflection geometry;
  • Laue case;
  • extinction;
  • Pendellösung;
  • dielectric susceptibility;
  • standing waves;
  • anomalous absorption;
  • absorption coefficients;
  • total reflection;
  • Borrmann triangle;
  • Maxwell’s equations;
  • Poynting vector