Lesson Plan: Electron Diffraction and Microscopy Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to describe electron beam diffraction, how it is used in electron microscopy, and how other forms of electron microscopy compare to it.


Students will be able to

  • combine the formulas for KE of an object and KE gain of a uniformly accelerated charge to find the velocity increase of a uniformly accelerated charge,
  • apply the formula 𝜆=𝑝 to an electron with a calculated velocity to determine its wavelength,
  • describe qualitatively the changes to electron diffraction patterns resulting from changes of electron wavelength,
  • apply the formula 𝜆=𝑝 where a relation between 𝜆 and the interatomic spacing of a crystalline structure is specified,
  • describe the functions of the components of a transmission electron microscope,
  • qualitatively compare the operation of transmission electron microscopes to other types of electron microscopes.


Students should already be familiar with

  • values of electron charge and mass in base SI units,
  • KE = 12𝑚𝑣,
  • 𝐸=𝑉𝑑 for uniform electric fields,
  • kinetic energy of a charged particle due to acceleration through a uniform electric field = 𝑉𝑞,
  • the Planck constant as a value used in formulas,
  • the qualitative relationship between diffraction pattern maxima and minima angular distances and the wavelength of waves producing the pattern.


Students will not cover

  • the quantitative relationship between electron diffraction pattern maxima and minima angular distances and the wavelength of electrons producing the pattern,
  • any aspects of imaging techniques in electron microscopy other than the proportionality of the separations of diffraction maxima and minima to the interatomic spacing of a crystalline structure.

Nagwa uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.