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    B: 1 of 4

Many physical techniques rely on the interaction between high energy electrons and the atoms in a solid. There are many possible interactions and some of the more useful (in that they give rise to measurable effects) are simulated on the next page. In the simulations that follow, high energy electrons, typically 20keV or higher, are allowed to interact, one by one, with a single atom of aluminium. This atom is assumed to be part of a solid metallic specimen and it contributes 3 electrons to a valence band or conduction band.

The nucleus is shown in blue here, with the ten inner shell electrons shown individually while the three conduction band electrons are indicated by the green area.


You should ensure that you are familiar with the K, L, M terminology for electron shells and it would be helpful to look up the binding energies of K electrons in aluminium. The glossary contains this information.

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