Bragg Scattering from an Optical Lattice

For many years the structure of solid crystals has been studied by Bragg scattering of x-rays. X-rays, with wavelengths on the order of a few tenths of a nanometer (a few angstroms) irradiate a crystal where the distance between the atoms is also a few angstroms. Only when the wavelength, atomic spacing, and angles are such that there is constructive interference of the scattering of x-rays from the regularly spaced planes of atoms does one see the strong reflection of x-rays characteristic of Bragg scattering.

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