The Story of Crystallography

How the Braggs Changed the World

Bragg Logo


Science as we know it began 100 years ago, when a father and son team became the first to use a technique called X-ray crystallography. William and Lawrence Bragg discovered that by exposing crystals to X-rays, they could use the pattern produced to reveal exactly how the atoms were arranged. They then formulated the hugely influential Bragg’s law, which provides a formula by which our scientists and users can work out the atomic structures based on the diffraction pattern created when X-ray light passes through it. X-ray crystallography has fostered some of the most important advance of modern science. From DNA to contemporary research into HIV and cancer treatments, the Braggs’ work has fostered countless scientific advances and permeates the world of science.

Diamond is hosting an event to pay tribute to their contributions. As part of the STFC’s Talking Science series, Diamond has organised a public lecture on the Braggs’ life and work. Join John Jenkin, expert on the Braggs, as he reveals the story of the Braggs, their complex relationship, and their achievements outside of crystallography. Hear too from Diamond Scientist, Professor Thomas Sorensen, as he explores the significance of X-ray crystallography to scientists today.

The lecture will take place on September 3rd at 1:30pm and again at 7:00pm; it will be held in the Pickavance lecture Theatre on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. To book a place, please register here.