I have just finished a junior-level lab assignment in which we used X-ray diffraction to determine the lattice constants of unknown materials. In the theory section of the lab write-up, it briefly explains the K-alpha doublet of the characteristic spectrum. I understand that it is the result of a vacancy in the K shell being filled from the L shell, and I understand that the two lines (K(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); _{α1}and K_{α2}) can appear as a single, unresolved line which is taken as the weighted average of the two lines. What I don't understand is why the K_{α1}line is always twice as strong as the K_{α2}line. I have read through the section on the characteristic spectrum in {Cullity, B.D.Elements of X-Ray Diffraction.3ed. Prentice Hall, 2001} and I am still a little confused. Is this just an experimentally observed fact?

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# Characteristic Spectrum and the K-alpha line

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