- Bragg's law
In

physics ,**Bragg's law**is the result of experiments into thediffraction ofX-rays or neutrons offcrystal surfaces at certain angles, derived by physicist Sir William Lawrence Bragg [*There are some sources, like the "Academic American Encyclopedia", that attribute the discovery of the law to both W.L Bragg and his father W.H. Bragg, but the official [*] in 1912 and first presented on*http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1915/present.html Nobel Prize site*] and the biographies written about him ("Light Is a Messenger: The Life and Science of William Lawrence Bragg", Graeme K. Hunter, 2004 and “Great Solid State Physicists of the 20th Century", Julio Antonio Gonzalo, Carmen Aragó López) make a clear statement that William Lawrence Bragg alone derived the law.1912-11-11 to theCambridge Philosophical Society . Although simple, Bragg's law confirmed the existence of real particles at the atomic scale, as well as providing a powerful new tool for studyingcrystal s in the form of X-ray andneutron diffraction . William Lawrence Bragg and his father, Sir William Henry Bragg, were awarded theNobel Prize inphysics in 1915 for their work in determining crystal structures beginning with NaCl, ZnS, anddiamond .When

X-rays hit anatom , they make the electronic cloud move as does anyelectromagnetic wave . The movement of these charges re-radiateswaves with the samefrequency (blurred slightly due to a variety of effects); this phenomenon is known as theRayleigh scattering (or elastic scattering). The scattered waves can themselves be scattered but this secondary scattering is assumed to be negligible. A similarprocess occurs uponscattering neutron waves from the nuclei or by acoherent spin interaction with an unpairedelectron . These re-emittedwave field sinterfere with each other either constructively or destructively (overlapping waves either add together to produce stronger peaks or subtract from each other to some degree), producing a diffraction pattern on a detector or film. The resulting waveinterference pattern is the basis ofdiffraction analysis. Bothneutron andX-ray wavelengths are comparable with inter-atomic distances (~150 pm) and thus are an excellent probe for thislength scale .The interference is constructive when the phase shift is a multiple to 2π; this condition can be expressed by Bragg's law: [

*See for example [*]*http://www.encalc.com/?expr=n%20lambda%20%2F%20(2*sin(theta))%20in%20nanometers&var1=n&val1=1&var2=lambda&val2=620%20nm&var3=theta&val3=45%20degrees&var4=&val4= this example calculation*] of interatomic spacing with Bragg's law.

$nlambda=2dcdotsin\; heta\; ,$where

* "n" is an integer determined by the order given,

* λ is thewavelength ofx-ray s, and movingelectron s,proton s andneutron s,

* "d" is the spacing between the planes in the atomic lattice, and

* θ is the angle between the incident ray and the scattering planes

"According to the 2θ deviation, the phase shift causes constructive (left figure) or destructive (right figure) interferences"Note that moving particles, including

electron s,proton s andneutron s, have an associatedDe Broglie wavelength .**Reciprocal space**Although the misleading common opinion reigns that Bragg's Law measures atomic distances in real space, it does not. Furthermore, the $n\; lambda$ term demonstrates that it measures the number of wavelengths fitting between two rows of atoms, thus measuring reciprocal distances.

Max von Laue had interpreted this correctly in a vector form, theLaue equation $vec\; G\; =\; vec\{k\_f\}\; -\; vec\{k\_i\}$

where $vec\; G$ is a reciprocal lattice vector and $vec\{k\_f\}$ and $vec\{k\_i\}$ are the wave vectors of the incident and the diffracted beams.

Together with the condition for elastic scattering $|k\_f|\; =\; |k\_i|$ and the introduction of the scattering angle $2\; heta$ this leads equivalently to Bragg's equation.

The concept of reciprocal lattice is the

Fourier space of a crystal lattice and necessary for a full mathematical description of wave mechanics.**Alternate Derivation**A single

monochromatic wave, of any type, is incident on aligned planes oflattice points, with separation d, at angle θ, as shown below.There will be a path difference between the 'ray' that gets reflected along

**AC**' and the ray that gets transmitted, then reflected along**AB**and**BC**paths respectively. This path difference is:

$(AB+BC)\; -\; (AC\text{'})\; ,$

If this path difference is equal to any integer value of thewavelength then the two separatewaves will arrive at a point with the same phase, and hence undergoconstructive interference . Expressed mathematically:

$(AB+BC)\; -\; (AC\text{'})\; =\; nlambda\; ,$

::Where the same definition of n and λ apply from the article aboveUsing thePythagorean theorem it is easily shown that:

$AB=frac\{d\}\{sin\; heta\},$ and $BC=frac\{d\}\{sin\; heta\},$ and $AC=frac\{2d\}\{\; an\; heta\},$

also it can be shown that:

$AC\text{'}=ACcdotcos\; heta=frac\{2d\}\{\; an\; heta\}cos\; heta,$

Putting everything together and using known identities for sinusoidal functions:

$nlambda=frac\{2d\}\{sin\; heta\}-frac\{2d\}\{\; an\; heta\}cos\; heta=frac\{2d\}\{sin\; heta\}(1-cos^2\; heta)=frac\{2d\}\{sin\; heta\}sin^2\; heta$

Which simplifies to:

$nlambda=2dcdotsin\; heta\; ,$

yielding Bragg's law.**References**W.L. Bragg, "The Diffraction of Short Electromagnetic Waves by a Crystal", "Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society", 17 (1913), 43–57.

**ee also***

Bragg diffraction

*Dynamical theory of diffraction

*Crystal lattice

*Diffraction

**Diffraction grating

*Distributed Bragg reflector

**Fiber Bragg grating

*Photonic crystal fiber

*Wavelength

*X-ray crystallography

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