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Sir William Lawrence Bragg was an Australian-born British physicist and Nobel Prize winner Bragg shared the 1915 Nobel Prize in physics with his father British physicist Sir William Henry Bragg for their work in establishing X-ray crystallography the study of crystal structures with X rays Born in Adelaide Australia William Lawrence Bragg studied at Saint Peters College in Adelaide and at the University of Adelaide graduating in 1908 He enrolled at Trinity College Cambridge England in 1909 to continue studying mathematics but switched to physics at the suggestion of his father Lawrence Bragg began research under the direction of British physicist Sir Joseph John Thomson in 1912 Bragg served in the British army during World War I developing techniques to locate the enemy by the sound of their artillery fire After the war he held positions at Trinity College and then the University of Manchester In 1937 Lawrence Bragg moved to the National Physical Laboratory as director but soon accepted an invitation to Cambridge as the Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics He stayed at Cambridge until 1953 when he moved to the Royal Institution London as director of the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory a position once held by his father He stayed at the Royal Institution until his retirement in 1966 The work that brought the Braggs fame was based on the phenomenon of X-ray diffraction in crystals discovered in 1912 by Max Theodor Felix von Laue Although the wave nature of X rays and the order of magnitude of their wavelength had been established there were no methods developed to interpret the photographic interference pictures that two of von Laues colleagues had produced by directing X rays through crystals Lawrence Bragg and his father had begun discussing von Laues findings in 1912 and worked together to treat them mathematically and simplify their interpretation Lawrence Bragg discovered that certain planes in a crystal reflect X rays in accordance with the normal law of reflection The distance
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