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Topic: B-factor increases, contribution of atom to scattering decreases, how?  (Read 1991 times)

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Offline Holmes

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In X-ray crystallography of proteins, the B-factor is given by

Bi = 8π2Ui2

where Ui2 is the mean square displacement of atom i. As U increases, the B-factor increases and the contribution of the atom to the scattering is decreased.

(Source: http://proteopedia.org/wiki/index.php/Temperature_value)

What does it mean when it says that - "contribution of atom to scattering is decreased"?


Offline Yggdrasil

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Re: B-factor increases, contribution of atom to scattering decreases, how?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 12:34:24 PM »
Atoms in crystals produce diffraction patterns because the x-ray light scattered from the atoms in one unit cell constructively interferes with the light scattered from all the other unit cells in the crystal.  If an atom displays heterogeneity in its position (i.e. it is in different places in different unit cells), the light scattered from these atoms will not constructively interfere as well.  Therefore, the light that would have come from this atom were it well positioned is lessened, and this atom contributes less signal to the intensity of the spots in the diffraction pattern.

Offline Holmes

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Re: B-factor increases, contribution of atom to scattering decreases, how?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 02:51:27 PM »
Now, I understand it.
Thank you for the explanation.

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