- Bragg's law
physics, Bragg's law is the result of experiments into the diffractionof X-raysor neutrons off crystalsurfaces 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 [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. ] in 1912 and first presented on 1912-11-11to the Cambridge 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 studying crystals in the form of X-ray and neutron diffraction. William Lawrence Bragg and his father, Sir William Henry Bragg, were awarded the Nobel Prizein physicsin 1915 for their work in determining crystal structures beginning with NaCl, ZnS, and diamond.
X-rayshit an atom, they make the electronic cloud move as does any electromagnetic wave. The movement of these charges re-radiates waveswith the same frequency(blurred slightly due to a variety of effects); this phenomenon is known as the Rayleigh scattering(or elastic scattering). The scattered waves can themselves be scattered but this secondary scattering is assumed to be negligible. A similar processoccurs upon scatteringneutron waves from the nuclei or by a coherentspin interaction with an unpaired electron. These re-emitted wave fields interferewith 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 wave interference patternis the basis of diffractionanalysis. Both neutronand X-raywavelengths are comparable with inter-atomic distances (~150 pm) and thus are an excellent probe for this length 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.]
* "n" is an integer determined by the order given,
* λ is the
wavelengthof x-rays, and moving electrons, protons and neutrons,
* "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
electrons, protons and neutrons, have an associated De Broglie wavelength.
Although the misleading common opinion reigns that Bragg's Law measures atomic distances in real space, it does not. Furthermore, the term demonstrates that it measures the number of wavelengths fitting between two rows of atoms, thus measuring reciprocal distances.
Max von Lauehad interpreted this correctly in a vector form, the Laue equation
where is a reciprocal lattice vector and and are the wave vectors of the incident and the diffracted beams.
Together with the condition for elastic scattering and the introduction of the scattering angle this leads equivalently to Bragg's equation.
The concept of reciprocal lattice is the
Fourier spaceof a crystal lattice and necessary for a full mathematical description of wave mechanics.
monochromaticwave, of any type, is incident on aligned planes of latticepoints, 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:
If this path difference is equal to any integer value of the
wavelengththen the two separate waveswill arrive at a point with the same phase, and hence undergo constructive interference. Expressed mathematically:
::Where the same definition of n and λ apply from the article aboveUsing the
Pythagorean theoremit is easily shown that:
also it can be shown that:
Putting everything together and using known identities for sinusoidal functions:
Which simplifies to:
yielding Bragg's law.
W.L. Bragg, "The Diffraction of Short Electromagnetic Waves by a Crystal", "Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society", 17 (1913), 43–57.
Dynamical theory of diffraction
Distributed Bragg reflector
Fiber Bragg grating
Photonic crystal fiber
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