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You Got It!

Yes! It's an X-ray diffractometer!

It's used by chemists, geologists and biologists to measure X-rays diffracted from a crystal to calculate the positions of the atoms it's made of.

Michael H. Dickman
Thanks to Michael H. Dickman for contributing this gizmo! Here he is with the X-ray diffractometer at Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany
A single (very tiny) crystal is mounted on the slender vertical post at the center of the diffractometer. X-rays are generated by a tube in the square metal box at the left and are aimed at the crystal by the hollow metal tube (collimator) to the left of the crystal. The box on the right detects the diffracted X-rays. The tube coming down from the top cools the crystal to -100 C using very cold nitrogen. More information about X-ray diffraction is online here.


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