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Sir William Henry Bragg OM, MA (Cantab), PhD, OKW (Westward, Cumberland, July 2, 1862 – March 10, 1942) was an English physicist and chemist, educated at King William's College, Isle of Man, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He served on the faculties of the University of Adelaide in Australia (1886-1908), the University of Leeds (1909-15), and University College London (1915-25). From 1923 he was Fullerian professor of chemistry at the Royal Institution and director of the Davy Faraday Research Laboratory. He shared with his son William Lawrence Bragg the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics for their studies, using the X-ray spectrometer, of X-ray spectra, X-ray diffraction, and of crystal structure. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1906 and served as president of the society from 1935 to 1940.

Ernest Rutherford shared his theories on the proton and nucleus with Bragg, who disagreed with him.

The lecture theatre of King William's College is named in his memory.

Bragg gave the Romanes Lecture in Oxford for 1925, on The Crystalline State.

Since 1992 the Australian Institute of Physics has awarded the Bragg Gold Medal for Excellence in Physics for the best PhD thesis by a student at an Australian university.


Selected publications

William Henry Bragg, (1925) — The Crystalline State - The Romanes Lecture for 1925. Oxford, 1925.

Bragg's law


William Henry Bragg


William Henry Bragg

President of the Royal Society 1935 - 1940

Preceded by: Sir Frederick Hopkins

Succeeded by: Sir Henry Dale

Physics Encyclopedia

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