WILLIAM L. BRAGG (1890 - 1971). The Diffraction of Short Electromagnetic Waves by Crystals. (Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 1913, 17, 43-57.) AND
The Structure of Some Crystals as Indicated by their Diffraction of X-rays. (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 1913, A89, 248-277.)
The father, William H. Bragg (1862 - 1942), was professor of physics successively at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, the University of Leeds, and the University College of London. In 1923, he became director of the Royal Institution. William Henry Bragg's research interests embraced a great many topics during his career, and he was skillful at picking up a subject, making an important contribution, and then dropping it again.
The son, William L. Bragg, obtained first class honors in natural science at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1912, and then started research under J. J. Thomson (1856 - 1940). This work, however, was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I, when Bragg volunteered for service. He was later successor to Ernest Rutherford (1871 - 1937) as professor of physics at the University of Manchester, director of the National Physical Laboratory, professor of experimental physics at Cambridge, and professor of chemistry and director of the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory at the Royal Institution, London.
Inspired by the discovery of X-ray diffraction by Max von Laue in 1912, the two Braggs started investigating the new phenomenon and quickly developed new methods for measuring the wavelengths of X-rays. The "Bragg equation", which they submitted for publication in late 1912 and published in early 1913, opened up the use of X-rays in the study of solid bodies, particularly crystals, and made it possible to calculate the distances between atoms within a crystal lattice by measuring the intensities and directions of X-ray beams diffracted by the crystal. This was a pivotal milestone in crystallographic determination. By the end of 1913, the Braggs had reduced crystal structure analysis to a technical procedure. Within two years, they had established the crystal structures of many substances, including sodium chloride, pyrite, and copper metal. They and their students went on to establish the crystal structures of increasingly more complicated chemical and biological substances.
Curtis P. Schuh, Mineralogy & Crystallography: An Annotated Bibliography of Books Published 1469 through 1919. Tucson: privately published, 2005, p247-248.
Page images from The Structure of Some Crystals as Indicated by their Diffraction of X-rays. (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 1913, A89, 248-277.)
Page 46 from WILLIAM L. BRAGG (1890 - 1971). The Diffraction of Short Electromagnetic Waves by Crystals. (Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 1913, 17, 43-57.)