Compilation of X-Ray Cross Sections

Compilation of X-Ray Cross Sections, is a book of tables of x-ray absorption cross sections for the elements, based on the data from W. H. McMaster, et al. The original data was published as

Compilation of X-Ray Cross Sections

W. H. McMaster, N. Kerr Del Grande, J. H. Mallett, and J. H. Hubbell

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Report
UCRL-50174 Section II Revision I (1969)
available from
National Technical Information Services L-3,
U.S. Dept. of Commerce

The original tables may still be available, but the version here is prettier.

The book here is available for free, and in PostScript format, for easy printing. The subroutine mucal, which contains the data from McMaster, was used to make the book.

Download the McMaster Tables here:

Two versions of the book are available. The two versions are different only in the size paper the book fits on. Both versions are single postscript files (800Kb) that make a complete, 181 page book. The book has 2 pages for each element (87 elements are included), graphs of the x-ray cross-sections for inert gases, and periodic tables of the x-ray excitation and fluorescence energies.

  • 8.5x11 inch (21.5x28cm) version: Postscript or PDF. Fits on standard notebook paper.
  • 7.25x9.25 inch (18.5x23.5 cm) version: Postscript or PDF . This is ready to be photocopied one-to-two-sided, and then trimmed to the smaller size. With a durable plastic cover and a metal ring binding, this makes a very convenient handbook.
  • Here are some sample pages from the 7.25x9.25 inch version of the book:

  • the title page.
  • sample pages for iridium.
  • periodic table of x-ray excitation energies.
  • periodic table of x-ray fluorescence energies.
  • plot of absorption coefficients for common ion chamber gases (2 to 40 Kev)
  • plot of absorption coefficients for common ion chamber gases (40 to 100 Kev)
  • If you're interested in finding out more about how the book was made:

  • the story of McBook.
  • McBook.tar.gz, the files used to make McBook (Unix only -- requires tex and gnuplot).

  • Here are some related sites:

  • On-Line McMaster Tables using the same data from the mucal subroutine.
  • UWXAFS Project.
  • XAFS DataBase at the IIT site of the International XAFS Society.
  • Atomic x-ray scattering factors at LBL with an on-line absorption calculation, and emphasis on lower energies than the data from McMaster.
  • Henke Atomic Scattering Factors also emphasizing lower energies more than the McMaster tables.
  • Attenuation Coefficient Bibliography at NIST .

  • Matthew Newville
    CARS, Bldg 434A, APS
    Argonne National Lab, 9700 South CASS Ave
    Argonne, IL 60439
    (630) 252-0431
    (630) 252-0443

    [ CARS | Advanced Photon Source | Argonne Natl Lab | Univ of Chicago | UWXAFS Project ]