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-[* black] The glass over the E-ink screen takes the light from the eight LEDs at the top and evenly distributes it across the screen.
- [* black] How you ask?
-[* black] The glass is specially designed using a core principle of optics: [|diffraction].
[* black] Light coming from the LEDs goes into the glass, which contains a [|diffraction grating] -- an optical component that has slits or grooves as part of its structure. Usually a diffraction grating is a separate piece of an assembly, but B&N's engineers integrated it into the glass.
[* black] This diffraction grating bends and disperses the light throughout the screen. Barnes and Noble really did their homework on this one, because instead of a simple linear diffraction grating (think of a bunch of parallel slits), the diffraction grating appears to change throughout the glass to evenly disperse the light.
[* black] How do we know its a diffraction grating?
[* black] [|Lasers]. We took a laser and beamed it through the glass panel onto a wall. Unlike the light of the white LEDs found on the Nook, you can see the diffraction pattern in the picture projected onto the wall (diffraction grating acts like a prism). If no diffraction grating was present in the screen, the laser would still be projected as a singular dot on the wall.