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William Lawrence Bragg: The Pioneer of X-ray Crystallography and His Pervasive Influence

Authors

  • Prof. Sir John Meurig Thomas

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    1. Department of Materials Science, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3QZ (UK)
    • Department of Materials Science, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3QZ (UK)
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Abstract

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A new age dawned when 22-year-old William Lawrence Bragg (see picture) realized that the observations of X-ray diffraction by a crystal can be interpreted very simply as arising from the reflection of the X-rays by planes of atoms in the crystal. In the 100 years since this insight X-ray diffraction has transformed chemistry, mineralogy, metallurgy, and, most recently, biology.

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