William Henry Bragg, 1862-1942

Portrait

Biographical note

British physicist, chemist, mathematician and active sportsman who uniquely shared a Nobel Prize with his son William Lawrence Bragg – the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics: "For their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-ray".

In 1885, (at the age of 23), Bragg was appointed (Sir Thomas) Elder Professor of Mathematics and Experimental Physics at the University of Adelaide, and started work there early in 1886. Bragg was an able and popular lecturer; he encouraged the formation of the student union, and the attendance, free of charge, of science teachers at his lectures.

Bragg's interest in physics developed, particularly in the field of electromagnetism. In 1895 he was visited by Ernest Rutherford, en-route from New Zealand to Cambridge; this was the commencement of a lifelong friendship. "The turning-point in Bragg's career came in 1904 when he gave the presidential address to section A of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science at Dunedin, New Zealand", on "Some Recent Advances in the Theory of the Ionization of Gases". This idea was followed up "in a brilliant series of researches" which, within three years, earned him a fellowship of the Royal Society of London. This paper was also the origin of his first book Studies in Radioactivity (1912). Soon after the delivery of his 1904 address, some radium bromide was made available to Bragg for experimentation. In December 1904 his paper "On the Absorption of a Rays and on the Classification of the a Rays from Radium" appeared in the Philosophical Magazine, and in the same issue a paper "On the Ionization Curves of Radium", written in collaboration with his student Richard Kleeman, also appeared.

See also . . .

Works

Articles

  • The 'elastic medium' method of treating electrostatic theorems. Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. Report of Meeting., 3 (Christchurch, 1891), 57-71; reprinted with modifications, Philosophical Magazine, S.5, 34 (1892), 18-35.
  • The energy of the electromagnetic field. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 15 (1891-92), 74-76.
  • [Presidential Address, Section A]. Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. Report of Meeting., 4 (Hobart, 1892), 31-47.
  • The energy of the electro-magnetic field. Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. Report of Meeting., 6 (Brisbane, 1895), 228-231.
  • On some recent advances in the theory of the ionization of gases. Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. Report of Meeting., 10 (Dunedin, 1904), 47-77.
  • On the absorption of alpha rays, and of the classification of the alpha rays from radium. Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 8 (1904), 719-725; (Abstract) Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 28 (1904), 298-299.
  • (With R. Kleeman) On the ionization curves of radium. Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 8 (1904), 726-738.
  • Die alpha-Strahlen des Radiums. Jahrbuch der Radioaktivität und Elektronik, 2 (1905), 4-18.
  • (With R. Kleeman) On the alpha particles of radium, and their loss of range in passing through various atoms and molecules. Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 10 (1905), 318-340; (Abstract) Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 29 (1905), 132-133.
  • On the alpha particles of radium. Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 10 (1905), 600-602.
  • (With R. Kleeman) On the recombination of ions in air and other gases. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 29 (1905), 187-206; Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 11 (1905), 466-484.
  • Die alpha-Strahlen des Radiums. Physikalische Zeitschrift, 7 (1906), 143-146.
  • über die alpha-Strahlen des Radiums. Physikalische Zeitschrift, 7 (1906), 452-453.
  • On the ionization of various gases by the alpha particles of radium. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 30 (1906), 1-15; Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 11 (1906), 617-632.
  • The alpha particles of uranium and thorium. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 30 (1906), 16-32; Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 11 (1906), 754-768 (with modifications).
  • On the ionization of various gases by the alpha particles of radium. No.2. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 30 (1906), 166-187; Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 13 (1907), 333-357; Physical Society, London. Proceedings., 20 (1905-07), 523-550.
  • The influence of the velocity of the alpha particle upon the stopping power of the substance through which it passes. Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 13 (1907), 507-516; (Abstract) Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. Report of Meeting., 11 (Adelaide, 1907), 318.
  • A comparison of some forms of electric radiation. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 31 (1907), 79-93.
  • The nature of Röntgen rays. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 31 (1907), 94-98.
  • On the properties and natures of various electric radiations. Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 14 (1907), 429-449; Ann. Rept. Smithsonian Institution, (1907), 195-214. (Reprinted with modifications from nos. 18 and 19.)
  • über die Zerstreuung der alpha-Strahlen. Physikalische Zeitschrift, 8 (1907), 886-887.
  • (With W.T. Cooke) The ionization curve of methane. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 31 (1907), 111-113; Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 14 (1907), 425-427.
  • (With J.P.V. Madsen) The quality of the secondary ionization due to beta rays. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 31 (1907), 300-304; Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 16 (1908), 692-697.
  • (With J.P.V. Madsen) An experimental investigation of the nature of the gamma rays. No. 1. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 32 (1908), 1-10; Physical Society, London. Proceedings., 21 (1907-09), 261-275; Chemical News, 97 (1908), 162-165; Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 15 (1908), 663-675.
  • (With J.P.V. Madsen) An experimental investigation of the nature of gamma rays. No.2. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 32 (1908), 35-54; Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 16 (1908), 918-939.
  • The nature of gamma and x-rays. Nature, 77 (1908), 270-271.
  • The nature of the gamma and x-rays. Nature, 78 (1908), 271, 293-294.
  • The nature of x-rays. Nature, 78 (1908), 665.
  • (With J.L. Glasson) On a want of symmetry shown by secondary x-rays. Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions and Proceedings., 32 (1908), 300-310; Physical Society, London. Proceedings., 21 (1907-09), 735-745; Philosophical Magazine, S.6, 17 (1909), 855-864.
  • The lessons of radioactivity. Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science. Report of Meeting., 12 (Brisbane, 1909), 1-30; Chemical News, 101 (1910), 101-103, 111-113, 134-137, 148-149.
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