100 years of a discovery that changed the world

From left: Sir William and Sir Lawrence Bragg, winners of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915.

From left: Sir William and Sir Lawrence Bragg, winners of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915.
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Thursday, 29 November 2012

A unique scientific discovery will celebrate its centenary in a full-day symposium at the University of Adelaide next week (Thursday 6 December).

The Bragg Symposium is dedicated to the memory and significance of the scientific work of Sir William and Sir Lawrence Bragg, the father and son team who are famous for being the first Adelaideans to win Nobel Prizes, for their groundbreaking work in the use of X-rays to determine crystal structure.

Lawrence Bragg realised that X-rays were diffracted by crystals in a certain way based on the atomic structure of the crystal. This led to the founding of X-ray crystallography 100 years ago this year, and Lawrence and his father William jointly earned the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915.

X-ray crystallography is the most comprehensive technique to determine the structure of any molecule at atomic resolution.

The Braggs' technique continues to be used to great effect today, in fields such as medicine, chemistry and physics. Since 1915, more than 20 other Nobel Prizes have been awarded to scientists who have used X-ray crystallography to conduct their research.

Key speakers at the symposium and their topics include:

  • A Tribute to my Father (Mrs Patience Thomson, younger daughter of Sir Lawrence Bragg)
  • Braggs' Law or Bragg's Law: Due Credit at Last, 100 years late? (Dr John Jenkin, La Trobe University and author of the definitive biography of the Braggs)
  • Bragg's Law and Electron Crystallography (Professor Colin Humphreys, University of Cambridge)
  • Changing Practice in How Structures are Solved from X-ray Diffraction (Professor Wayne Hendrickson, Columbia University)

In all, there will be 14 speakers from around the world and from Australia providing insights into the importance of the Braggs' research and its ongoing global impact.

WHAT: The Bragg Symposium
WHERE: Elder Hall, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide
WHEN: 9.00am-5.10pm Thursday 6 December 2012
COST: $125 (full) $75 (students) - registration essential: http://bit.ly/UAbraggs


Contact Details

Professor John Carver
Email: john.carver@adelaide.edu.au
Website: http://www.chemphys.adelaide.edu.au/
Professor of Chemistry
School of Chemistry & Physics
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3110
Mobile: 0434 075 097

Associate Professor Christopher Sumby
Email: christopher.sumby@adelaide.edu.au
ARC Future Fellow
School of Chemistry & Physics
The University of Adelaide
Business: 8313 7406
Mobile: 0468 776 825

Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/newsroom/
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762