Leeds pioneer of atomic photography

Professor William Bragg (1862-1942) was honoured by the University of Leeds, where, in 1915, together with his son Lawrence (1890-1971), he conducted the world’s first X-ray crystallography.

Saturday, 12th December 2015, 9:17 am
Professor Sheena Radford FRS, Astbury Professor of Biophysics and the Director of the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, unveils a bust to William Bragg in the Parkinson Building at Leeds University, who invented the world's first X-ray crystalography machine in 1915, a landmark in science equivalent to Einstein's special theory of relativity. 11 December 2015. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The technique, which won both men the Nobel Prize for Physics in that year, has been described as being as important as Einstein’s special theory of relvativity, which also came in 1915.

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The technique allowed them to view things on an atomic level, using light refracted through crystals.

William Hunter, biographer of Lawrence Bragg, noted: “The mpact of has been as great as those of quantum theory and relativity.”