Electron Detective Adventures

Making the most of data at hand is a challenge that the inner scientist in all of us faces. As discussed in Chapter 10 of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Education (2008 Amer. Sci. Publ), data on atomic periodicity in images and diffraction patterns are no exception. Computers, and the modern informatic science of Bayesian model-selection, can in fact make such data on atom-scale periodicity much more accessible than it already is.

Questions explored here...

Sample puzzlers might include the following...


We are starting this page to help illustrate how tales of problem solving with newly-developed and mostly web-accessible tools can point the way toward analysis of data on your specimens with help from those same tools. To start with, for instance, we’ve developed an ImageJ macro called 4spots to help you capture “2 spacings and an angle” from any single crystal diffraction pattern or lattice image that comes your way.

In particular we address how transmission electron microscopes might help you get the information that you need, and things you might do with your data like checking it for indexability with a candidate structure.

Beyond that we’ll help you look toward:


Please bear with us as for the moment this page is only a stub. /pf

Update: At the beginning of Microscopy and Microanalysis 2012, I was asked to post selected ImageJ plugins including the 4spots macro, an instruction manual for 4spots, and a copy of our poster. Now that Microscopy and Microanalysis 2013 is about to begin, expect to see a few more updates to this page in the days ahead.


Stay tuned for links, and more puzzlers (with code links) to explore, here...

Our google-sites construction may also be of interest here.

interactive talk notes

These might be good places for moderated commentary:

Q and A



Useful links...

...at UM-StL:


Related references


This page is http://www.umsl.edu/~fraundorfp/electronDetectives.html. As non-commercial tools, the routines discussed here can make no guarantees as to their correctness for any specific application. Although there are many contributors, the person responsible for errors is P. Fraundorf. This site is hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy (and Center for NanoScience) at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.