Neutron diffraction studies of heavy rare-earth superlattices have revealed the stabilization of novel magnetic phases chat are not present in bulk materials. The most striking result is the propagation of the magnetic ordering through nonmagnetic spacer materials. Here we describe some recent X-ray magnetic resonant scattering studies of light rare-earth superlattices, which illuminate the mechanism of interlayer coupling, and provide access to different areas of Physics. such as the interplay between superconductivity and magnetism. Magnetic X-ray diffraction is found to be particularly well suited to the study of the modulated magnetic structures in superlattices, and provides unique information on the conduction-electron spin-density wave responsible for the propagation of magnetic order. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.