Abstract XPS spectra from Be, Pt and W are studied experimentally. On the basis of a recent model the importance of elastic and inelastic scattering on the energy distribution of emitted electron is investigated. In agreement with the model it is found that the intensity associated with the excitation of a single core level falls off logarithmically toward low energies. This logarithmic decay extends down to at least ∼ 150eV below the line and, depending on the existence of strong structure in the inelastic scattering cross section of the metal, up to ∼ 20–80eV from the line. Elastic scattering is shown to play a major role in the determination of the energy spectrum of electrons emitted from a solid.