Debye-Rietveld Celebration – A 100 & 50 year celebration

The idea for this symposium came from prof. Bill David from UCL who pointed out that this year, 2016, we celebrate the centenary and 50 year jubilee of two major contributions in powder diffractometry. By coincidence, both contributors were Dutch.


Diffraction of radiation is used to determine the atomic structure of materials. The technique developed more than 100 years ago, using single crystals, which are hard to get or to make. Exactly 100 years ago, Peter Debye overcame this limitation with the invention of powder diffraction, making sample preparation a piece of cake.

Then 50 years later, Hugo Rietveld introduced a data analysis method that enabled accurate determination of the 3D crystal structure from the obtained powder data. The two major steps forward make powder diffraction a standard tool in academia and industry today. We want to celebrate the centennial + golden jubilee with you on the 22 September 2016.


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