Atomic form factors are widely used for the characterization of targets and specimens, from crystallography to biology. By using recent mathematical results, here we derive an analytical expression for the atomic form factor within the independent particle model constructed from nonrelativistic screened hydrogenic wave functions. The range of validity of this analytical expression is checked by comparing the analytically obtained form factors with the ones obtained within the Hartee-Fock method. As an example, we apply our analytical expression for the atomic form factor to evaluate the differential cross section for Rayleigh scattering off neutral atoms.

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