Guide Light Is a Messenger: The Life and Science of William Lawrence Bragg

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The material in this Series was stored by John Jenkin in filing cabinets, with labelled suspension files used for high-level subjects and manila folders within these titled at a more granular level. Many of these folders primarily contain photocopies drawn from a variety of sources, often accompanied by research notes and related correspondence.


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The suspension files have been discarded for preservation reasons, with the labelled tabs retained with the first item from that file. Material in this Series follows the life of Lawrence Bragg, born 31 March , from his upbringing in Adelaide, to his service during the First World War and his later career. It includes biographical information collected on Lawrence Bragg, including his own personal reminiscences regarding his research on X-ray Crystallography, and information on his education at St.

It also includes material relating to his professional career and research on X-ray Crystallography for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in as well as material relating to the First World War and his work on Sound Ranging, including correspondence sent from Lawrence Bragg to his family and articles on War Neurosis and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Includes various photocopied articles marking the centenary of William Lawrence Bragg's birth; and correspondence to and from John Jenkin concerning centenary celebrations and the possiblility of a commemoration stamp.

Includes two photocopies of script written by John Jenkin and presented on ABC Radio entitled "In celebration of the centenary of the birth of William Lawrence Bragg, born in Adelaide on 31 March "; and related correspondence to and from John Jenkin. Also includes photocopy of special edition of the journal "Acta Crystallographer" dedicated to William Lawrence Bragg, including articles by William Lawrence Bragg.

Includes mounted photographs of William Lawrence Bragg as a child; mounted photograph of William Lawrence Bragg with the Todd family ; enlarged copy of stamp in commemoration of William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg; loose photograph of a house, not labelled. Also includes mounted biographical information on William Lawrence Bragg entitled " the centenary of the birth of Includes various photocopied articles written by William Lawrence Bragg on the development of X-ray analysis, the discovery of X-ray diffraction and achievements in X-ray crystallography.

Also includes photocopied correspondence from William Lawrence Bragg regarding his visit to Australia and New Zealand and a list of his appointments at the University of Adelaide. Includes transcript of a BBC television programme made to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics to William Lawrence Bragg, which includes an interview with William Lawrence Bragg; related correspondence from John Jenkin.

Contains photocopy of article in the journal "Invertebrate Taxonomy" entitled "Australian Cuttlefishes Cephalopoda : Sepiidae : the 'doratosepion' species complex", with passages highlighted by John Jenkin. Includes correspondence between John Jenkin and The Manachester Museum regarding William Lawrence Bragg's mollusc collection; various photocopied articles on Arctosepia braggi. Also includes photocopied extracts from "Reminiscences of Felix Kingston Barton" which includes details of the discovery of Sepia braggi by William Lawrence Bragg.

Includes Queen's School Prospectus; articles and newspaper cuttings on Queen's School; handwritten notes and correspondence to and from John Jenkin regarding Queen's School. Includes photocopied newspaper articles on St. Also includes photographs of SPSC Memorial Hall after a fire in and photocopied newspaper article on the restoration of the hall. Peter's College School Magazine; photocopied extracts from the St. Includes correspondence to John Jenkin regarding the examinations taken by William Lawrence Bragg at the University of Adelaide; photocopies of exam papers sat by William Lawrence Bragg, Also includes newspaper cutting on a meeting of the Astronomical Society , at which William Lawrence Bragg "explained the nature of earthquake waves".

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Also includes photocopied correspondence from William Lawrence Bragg regarding his course and C. Wilson's lectures; biography of Charles Thomson Rees Wilson. Taylor; photocopy of William Lawrence Bragg's Cambridge notebook. Includes various photocopied articles on early crystallography, including an article on the history of the Cambridge Philosophical Society Also includes photocopy of note by Henry E.

Armstrong published in Nature entitled "Poor Common Salt! Includes letter from Alice Bragg to John Jenkin regarding his book on the Bragg family; photocopied index to book entitled "Engineering at Cambridge University" regarding the Hopkinson family; hand-drawn Hopkinson family tree. Includes photocopied correspondence to and from Dr. Lindemann regarding sound ranging; and a chronology of the development of sound ranging. Also includes material relating to William Lawrence Bragg's military service; photocopied articles on the Third Battle of Ypres also known as the Battle of Passchendaele ; photocopied article entitled "Cambridge between Two Wars".

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Includes photocopied newspaper cuttings and an account by William Lawrence Bragg on the development of sound ranging. Also includes photocopied correspondence to and from William Lawrence Bragg regarding sound ranging. Dowson and Lieutenant Colonel H. Includes photocopied articles on sound ranging; patent for improvements to microphones; photocopied correspondence from William Lawrence Bragg to William Sansome Tucker regarding sound ranging and microphones.

Also includes correspondence from Major William Sansome Tucker regarding his experiments with microphones including a statement of his qualifications; and related correspondence between John Jenkin and Guy Hartcup. Also includes photocopied proceedings of the conference for sound ranging officers; photocopies of the weekly sound ranging reports. Includes photocopied Sports programmes from St.

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Contains photocopied material relating to William Lawrence Bragg's military service including discharge certificate, letters patent appointing William Lawrence Bragg Second Lieutenant in the Leicestershire Royal Horse Artillery and completed army book. Includes various photocopied articles written by William Lawrence Bragg while he was Professor at the University of Manchester. Includes photocopied correspondence from William Lawrence Bragg to William Henry Bragg mainly regarding research work.

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Includes handwritten list of correspondence between William Lawrence Bragg and Niels Bohr with short descriptions of each letter; photocopy of a letter from William Lawrence Bragg to Max von Laue regarding research students. Includes various photocopied articles on molecular biology, DNA and the discovery of the double helix, including articles by William Lawrence Bragg. Includes printed information on an exhibition of the work of the Festival Pattern Group inspired by diagrams of atomic structures entitled "From Atoms to Patterns"; photocopy of an article entitled "I wish I'd made you angry earlier: How W.

Bragg invented X-ray Analysis" by Max Perutz. Contains photocopied correspondence from Francis Crick to William Lawrence Bragg and photocopied newspaper cuttings of obituaries for Francis Crick. Hot wire sound ranging was used in the Second World War, during which he served as a civilian adviser. Between the wars, from to , he worked at the Victoria University of Manchester as Langworthy Professor of Physics. He became the director of the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington in He believed that "the ideal research unit is one of six to twelve scientists and a few assistants".

When demobilized he returned to crystallography at Cambridge. They had agreed that father would study organic crystals, son would investigate inorganic compounds.

He recruited an excellent faculty, including former sound rangers, but he believed that his knowledge of physics was weak and he had no classroom experience. The students, many veterans, were critical and rowdy. He was deeply shaken but with family support he pulled himself together and prevailed. It was still difficult: requiring repeated guessing and retrying.

In the late s they eased the analysis by using Fourier transforms on the data. In he became deeply disturbed while weighing a job offer from Imperial College, London. His family rallied around and he recovered his balance while they spent in Munich, where he did research. He became director of the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington in , [21] bringing some co-workers along. However, administration and committees took much of his time away from the workbench.

Rutherford died and the search committee named Lawrence Bragg as next in the line of the Cavendish Professors who direct the Cavendish Laboratory. The Laboratory had an eminent history in atomic physics and some members were wary of a crystallographer, which Bragg surmounted by even-handed administration. He worked on improving the interpretation of diffraction patterns. In the small crystallography group was a refugee research student without a mentor: Max Perutz. He showed Bragg X-ray diffraction data from hemoglobin , which suggested that the structure of giant biological molecules might be deciphered.

Bragg appointed Perutz as his research assistant and within a few months obtained additional support with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The work was suspended during the Second World War when Perutz was interned as an enemy alien and then worked in military research.

During the war the Cavendish offered a shortened graduate course which emphasized the electronics needed for radar. Bragg worked on the structure of metals and consulted on sonar and sound ranging, they still used the Tucker microphone. He became Sir Lawrence in His father died in , during which Bragg served for six months as Scientific Liaison Officer to Canada. He organized periodic conferences on X-ray analysis, which was widely used in military research. After the war he led in the formation of the International Union of Crystallography and was elected its first president.

He reorganized the Cavendish into units to reflect his conviction that "the ideal research unit is one of six to twelve scientists and a few assistants, helped by one or more first-class instrument mechanics and a workshop in which the general run of apparatus can be constructed. The scope of the department was enlarged with a new unit on radio astronomy. His own work focused on the structure of metals, using both X-rays and the electron microscope.

In he persuaded the Medical Research Council to support what he described as the "gallant attempt" [24] to determine protein structure as the Laboratory of Molecular Biology MRC , initially consisting of Perutz, John Kendrew and two assistants.

Bragg, William Henry,

Bragg worked with them, by they had resolved the structure of myoglobin to the atomic level. Bragg announced the discovery at a Solvay conference on proteins in Belgium on 8 April , it went unreported by the press. Nearer Secret of Life. Franklin died before the prize which only goes to living people was awarded. In the Braggs moved into the elegant flat for the Resident Professor in the Royal Institution in London, the position his father had occupied when he died.

In and Lawrence had delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture and since he had been Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Institution, delivering an annual lecture. His father's successors had weakened the Institution, so Lawrence had to rebuild.

Light is a Messenger. The Life and Science of William Lawrence Bragg. By Graeme K. Hunter.

He bolstered finances by enlisting corporate sponsors, the traditional Friday Evening Discourses were followed by a dinner party for the speaker and carefully selected possible patrons, more than one hundred and twenty of them each year. On 7 May, Lady Bragg, who had been a member of the Royal Commission on Marriage and Divorce and was Chairman of the National Marriage Guidance Council , lectured on 'Changing patterns in marriage and divorce'; and on 15 November, Bragg listened with evident pride to the Discourse on 'Oscillations and noise in jet engines' given by his engineer-son Stephen , who was then Chief Scientist at Rolls Royce Ltd and later became Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University.

He gave three of these lectures on 'electricity' [28]. He continued research in the Institution by recruiting a small group to work the Davy-Faraday Laboratory in the basement and in the adjoining house, supported by grants he obtained. A visitor to the laboratory succeeded in inserting heavy metals into the enzyme lysozyme ; the structure of its crystal was solved in at the Royal Institution by D C Phillips and his coworkers, with the computations on the 9, reflections performed on the digital computer at the University of London, which greatly facilitated the work.

Unlike myoglobin, in which nearly 80 per cent of the amino-acid residues are in the alpha-helix conformation, in lysozyme the alpha-helix content is only about 40 per cent of the amino-acid residues found in four main stretches. Other stretches are of the 3 10 helix , a conformation that they had proposed earlier. They had the complete structure of an enzyme in time for Bragg's seventy-fifth birthday. He became Professor Emeritus in X-ray analysis of protein structure flourished in subsequent years, determining the structures of scores of proteins in laboratories around the world.

Twenty eight Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work using X-ray analysis. The disadvantage of the method is that it must be done on crystals, which precludes seeing changes in shape when enzymes bind substrates and the like. This problem was solved by the development of another line Bragg had initiated, using modified electron microscopes to image single frozen molecules: cryo-electron microscopy. In his long association with the Royal Institution he was:. He married Alice Hopkinson — , a cousin of a friend who had been killed in the war, in Bragg's hobbies included drawing — family letters were illustrated with lively sketches — painting, literature and a lifelong interest in gardening.

He was buried in Trinity College, Cambridge ; his son David is buried in the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge, where Bragg's friend, who had he survived would have been his brother-in-law, Rudolph Cecil Hopkinson is also buried. Although Graeme Hunter, in his book on Bragg Light is a Messenger , argued that he was more a crystallographer than a physicist, Bragg's lifelong activity showed otherwise—he was more of a physicist than anything else. Thus, from to , he served as President of the Institute of Physics , London.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Australian born physicist. Adelaide , South Australia. Waldringfield, Ipswich , Suffolk, England. University of Adelaide Trinity College, Cambridge. University of Manchester University of Cambridge. Thomson W. He was the son of W. Note that the PhD did not exist at Cambridge until , and so J. Thomson and W. Bragg were his equivalent mentors. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society.

The Telegraph.