In 1912 Lawrence Bragg explained the interaction of X-rays with crystals, and he and his father (William) thereby pioneered X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. They then led the latter field internationally for 50 years, when most areas of science were transformed by the knowledge created: physics, chemistry, geology, materials science, electronics, and most recently biology and medical science. This book charts how this humble pair (William English, his son Australian) rose from obscurity to international prominence and then back to current, undeserved obscurity. Attention is also given to the crucial roles of both father and son during the dreadful years of the First World War, and to William's early and unshakeable belief in the dual wave and particle natures of radiation and his eventual vindication. Unlike earlier studies, the book highlights the intimate interactions between father and son that made their project possible, emphasizes personal, family, and wider human relationships, and offers new insights into teaching and research in a British colonial setting.
Buy William and Lawrence Bragg, Father and Son book by John Jenkin from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(242mm x 164mm x 27mm)
Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Author Biography - John Jenkin
John Jenkin was born, raised, and educated in Adelaide, South Australia, and graduated B.Sc. with first-class honours in physics from the University of Adelaide in 1960. He then completed a Ph.D. in low-energy nuclear physics at the Australian National University in Canberra, and held post-doctoral appointments at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, England, and the University of Minnesota, USA. The remainder of his career has been spent at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, where he became Reader and Head of the Department of Physics (1968-1992), and then joined the history-and-philosophy-of-science program in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (1993-1999). His research at La Trobe has concerned the electronic properties of materials (in Physics) and the history of the physical sciences in Australia (in Humanities). He retired in 2000 and is currently a Research Associate in the Philosophy Program at La Trobe.