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William Henry Bragg, British physicist

William Henry Bragg, British physicist

C026/4064

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PHOTO BY ED HOPPE, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, COURTESY AIP EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES, PHYSICS TODAY COLLECTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHOTO BY ED HOPPE, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS, COURTESY AIP EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES, PHYSICS TODAY COLLECTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption

William Henry Bragg (1862-1942). British physicist, chemist and mathematician William Henry Bragg in a laboratory. Bragg discovered that the impact of high-energy electrons on a heavy metal target produced both line and continuous X-ray spectra, characteristic of the target metal. With his son, William Lawrence Bragg, he discovered that crystals diffract X-rays in a manner characteristic of their structure. This technique, known as X-ray crystallography, is now a standard structural analysis tool. Bragg and his son uniquely shared the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics for this work. Bragg senior was knighted in 1920.

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