MuCalcTool is a Microsoft Excel workbook for computing and comparing the x-ray attenuation of various minerals. The key to distinguishing between different minerals in a rock using HRXCT is to scan the rock at an energy where each mineral has a different x-ray attenuation (if possible). This workbook allows a user to determine if the various minerals in their rock will be distinguishable in the scan data, and if there is an optimal energy at which to scan in order to maximize their differences in attenuation. The x-ray attenuations of over 200 minerals and elements are already included in the workbook. It is also possible to create a solid solution mineral out of the existing minerals in the workbook and to add additional minerals. The mass x-ray attenuation coefficients for the minerals in this workbook were retrieved using the NIST XCOM Database.

Click here to download MuCalcTool via ftp.


Example x-ray attenuation graph of quartz, kspar, biotite, and zircon.

Papers Utilizing MuCalcTool

Howarth, G.H., Sobolev, N.V., Pernet-Fisher, J.F., Ketcham, R.A., Maisano, J.A., Pokhilenko, L.N., Taylor, D., and Taylor, L.A. (2015) 3-D X-ray tomography of diamondiferous mantle eclogite xenoliths, Siberia: A review. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 101, 39-67.