THEIR LEAP OF GENIUS WAS THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING ATOMIC STRUCTURES AND IT COULD BE WELL ARGUED THAT THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD THIS FATHER-SON TEAM DEVELOPED HAS BEEN AS GREAT AS THOSE OF QUANTUM THEORY AND RELATIVITY, AND THE IMPACT ON EVERYDAY LIFE EVEN GREATER
SIR WILLIAM HENRY BRAGG(1862-1942) & SIR WILLIAM LAWRENCE BRAGG(1890-1971) SIGNED CARDS, “W. H. Bragg/28/6/17” & “W. L. Bragg” (Cambridge, March 17, 1919 in another hand, lower left), each on a card 4.5 x 2.5, by the father & son British physicists who jointly won the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics for their groundbreaking work in the use of X-rays to determine crystal structure. Henry Bragg, at the age of 23, was appointed an Elder Professor of Mathematics and experimental Physics at Adelaide University who, at age 41, began to explore X-ray radiation, winning international recognition, and took the Cavendish Chair in Physics at Leeds, England in 1909. He was aware of the recent Munich Experiments of 1912 where Max von Laue and other scientists targeted sphalerite crystals with X-ray beams, backed with a photographic plate to track the diffraction pattern. It was the 22 year old, Lawrence Bragg, who fully realize the ramifications of Laue’s discovery that X-rays were diffracted by crystals in a certain way based on the atomic structure of the crystal and led to a calculation known as Bragg’s Law. To facilitate this Henry Bragg designed the X-ray spectrometer. This led to the founding of X-ray crystallography, which is the most comprehensive technique to determine the structure of any molecule at atomic resolution. Atomic resolution corresponds to an electron-density map (or map calculated using another type of data) in which individual atoms can be distinguished. The Bragg’s technique continues to be used to great effect today, in fields such as medicine, chemistry, and physics. Since 1915 more that 20 other Nobel Prizes have been awarded to scientists who have used X-ray crystallography to conduct their research. Both cards are in fine condition, with minor age toning.