Bragg, Sir William Henry

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Bragg, Sir William Henry,

1862–1942, English physicist, educated at King William's College, Isle of Man, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He served on the faculties of the Univ. of Adelaide in Australia (1886–1908), the Univ. of Leeds (1909–15), and the Univ. of London (1915–23). From 1923 he was Fullerian professor of chemistry in the Royal Institution and director of the Davy-Faraday research laboratory. He shared with his son W. L. Bragg the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics for their studies, using the X-ray spectrometer, of X-ray spectra, X-ray diffraction, and of crystal structure. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1906 and served as president of the society from 1935 to 1940. In 1920 he was knighted. Among his works are The World of Sound (1920), Concerning the Nature of Things (1925), An Introduction to Crystal Analysis (1929), and The Universe of Light (1933). With W. L. Bragg he wrote X Rays and Crystal Structure (1915, 5th ed. 1925).


See biography by Sir Kerr Grant (1952).

Bragg, Sir William Henry


Born July 2, 1862, in Wigton, Cumberland; died Mar. 12, 1942. English physicist; member (1906) and president (1935-40) of the London Royal Society.

Bragg graduated from Cambridge University. He became a professor at the University of Adelaide (Australia) in 1886, at Leeds in 1909, and at London in 1915. In 1913 he and his son Sir W. L. Bragg used the diffraction of X rays in crystals to establish the characteristics of these rays and to decipher the structure of the crystals. He wrote a series of popular-scientific books. He received the Nobel Prize in 1915.


X-Ray and Crystal Structure, 4th ed. London, 1924. (With Sir W. L. Bragg.)
In Russian translation:
V mire atomov i molekul. Leningrad, 1926.
Vvedenie v analiz kristallov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1930.
Mir zvuka. Moscow-Leningrad, 1927.
Mir sveta. Moscow, 1935.
Istoriia elektromagnetizma. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.


“Sir William Bragg…” Nature. [London] 1942. Vol. 139, no. 3778.
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Being born on January 4, 1940, Josephson would have been aged 33 on winning the Nobel Prize, leaving the youngest recipient to have been Australian-born (Sir) Lawrence Bragg, who at the age of 25 while at the Victoria University in Manchester, shared the 1915 Nobel Prize for Physics with his father, Sir William Bragg, of the University of London.