Bragg, Sir William Lawrence

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Bragg, Sir William Lawrence,

1890–1971, English physicist, b. Adelaide, Australia, educated in Australia and at Trinity College, Cambridge; son of W. H. Bragg. He was professor of physics at Victoria Univ., Manchester, from 1919 to 1937. From 1938 to 1953 he was professor of experimental physics at Cambridge and director of the Cavendish Laboratory. In 1954 he was made head of the Royal Institution. He shared with his father the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics for their studies, with the X-ray spectrometer, of X-ray spectra, X-ray diffraction, and of crystal structure. In 1941 he was knighted. Among his works are The Structure of Silicates (1930, 2d enl. ed. 1932) and Atomic Structure of Minerals (1937). With his father he wrote X Rays and Crystal Structure (1915, 5th ed. 1925).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bragg, Sir William Lawrence


Born Mar. 31, 1890, in Adelaide. English physicist; member of the London Royal Society (1921). Son of Sir W. H. Bragg.

Bragg studied at the universities of Adelaide (Australia) and Cambridge. From 1919 to 1937 he was a professor at the University of Manchester. In 1937-38 he was director of the National Physical Laboratory and from 1938 to 1953 he was director of the Cavendish Laboratory. From 1954 to 1966 he was director of the Royal Institution in Cambridge. In 1913, simultaneously with G. V. Vul’f, he gave the equation connecting the angle of deflection of X rays scattered by a crystal with no change in wavelength with the distance between neighboring atomic planes in the crystal (the Bragg-Vul’f condition). He developed methods for deciphering complex crystal structures according to the intensity of an X ray scattered by a crystal, and he put into practice the technique shown by Sir W. H. Bragg for determining structures by means of Fourier series. He also determined the structures of many silicates. He received the Nobel Prize in 1915.


In Russian translation:
Struktura silikatov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Rentgenovskie luchi i stroenie kristallov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1929. (With Sir W. H. Bragg.)
Difraktsiia elektronov. Leningrad, 1936. (With Sir W. H. Bragg.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Australian-born physicist William Lawrence Bragg was but twenty-five years of age when, in 1915, he and his father received the Nobel Prize for their pioneering work in X-ray crystallography.
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Named after 1915 Nobel Laureate William Lawrence Bragg, Hill's "fiber Bragg grating" transmits specific light frequencies while reflecting others back through the fiber.