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The first monochromatic X-ray tomography experiments conducted at the Imaging and Medical beamline of the Australian Synchrotron are reported. The sample was a phantom comprising nylon line, Al wire and finer Cu wire twisted together. Data sets were collected at four different X-ray energies. In order to quantitatively account for the experimental values obtained for the Hounsfield (or CT) number, it was necessary to consider various issues including the point-spread function for the X-ray imaging system and harmonic contamination of the X-ray beam. The analysis and interpretation of the data includes detailed considerations of the resolution and efficiency of the CCD detector, calculations of the X-ray spectrum prior to monochromatization, allowance for the response of the double-crystal Si monochromator used (via X-ray dynamical theory), as well as a thorough assessment of the role of X-ray phase-contrast effects. Computer simulations relating to the tomography experiments also provide valuable insights into these important issues. It was found that a significant discrepancy between theory and experiment for the Cu wire could be largely resolved in terms of the effect of the point-spread function. The findings of this study are important in respect of any attempts to extract quantitative information from X-ray tomography data, across a wide range of disciplines, including materials and life sciences.

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