[Ifeffit] Questions and answers

Bruce Ravel bravel at anl.gov
Tue Sep 6 11:57:12 CDT 2005

Good morning,

Every week I receive a large amount of email regarding my software and
XAS in general.  I am sure that's no surprise to anyone reading this.
While I certainly want to encourage people to feel free to contact me
about XAS, the software, and any other topic, the time I have to
address the needs and concerns of all the people contacting me is

In recent weeks I have received an unusual number of emails containing
vague, ill-posed questions or requests for inordinate amounts of help.
The other day I was frustrated by one such correspondent, so today I
am indulging myself by ranting in a public forum ;-)

Consider this message that I received the other day:

> I have a sample with lead adsorbed onto manganese oxide and I have
> its EXAFS.  I want to study the Pb-Mn shell (including r(Pb-Mn) and
> the number of Mn atom around Pb atom).  How should I proceed?
> Awaiting your reply.

Contrast that with an email I received from a user who had some
questions along with a bug report regarding how e0 is determined by

> I'm attaching an Athena project with a sample labeled Libethenite
> and a Cu standard, along with an step by step explanation included
> in the project journal.

I trust the difference between these two is clear.  I do not know
either of these individuals except by their emails.  Both are from
places far away from Chicago.  The first received a 5-line response
while I spent two hours on a plane flight two weeks ago addressing the
second one.

I encourage people to contact me at any time with any question about
XAS or my software.  Indeed, if Athena and Artemis are useful data
analysis tools today it is only because of the kind and generous
feedback I have received from its users.

But if a genie were to grant me a wish, it would be that more folks
were like the second correspondent than the first.


 Bruce Ravel  ----------------------------------- bravel at anl.gov  -or-
						  ravel at phys.washington.edu
 Environmental Research Division, Building 203, Room E-165
 Argonne National Laboratory         phone and voice mail: (1) 630 252 5033
 Argonne IL 60439, USA                                fax: (1) 630 252 9793

 My homepage:    http://feff.phys.washington.edu/~ravel 
 EXAFS software: http://feff.phys.washington.edu/~ravel/software/exafs/

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