Early Days of X-ray Crystallography

Early Days of X-ray Crystallography

by André Authier
     
 

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The year 2012 marked the centenary of one of the most significant discoveries of the early twentieth century, the discovery of X-ray diffraction (March 1912, by Laue, Friedrich and Knipping) and of Bragg's law (November 1912). The discovery of X-ray diffraction confirmed the wave nature of X-rays and the space-lattice hypothesis. It had two major consequences: the

Overview

The year 2012 marked the centenary of one of the most significant discoveries of the early twentieth century, the discovery of X-ray diffraction (March 1912, by Laue, Friedrich and Knipping) and of Bragg's law (November 1912). The discovery of X-ray diffraction confirmed the wave nature of X-rays and the space-lattice hypothesis. It had two major consequences: the analysis of the structure of atoms, and the determination of the atomic structure of materials. This had a momentous impact in chemistry, physics, mineralogy, material science, biology and X-ray spectroscopy. The book relates the discovery itself, the early days of X-ray crystallography, and the way the news of the discovery spread round the world. It explains how the first crystal structures were determined by William Bragg and his son Lawrence, and recounts which were the early applications of X-ray crystallography in chemistry, mineralogy, materials science, physics, biological sciences and X-ray spectroscopy. It also tells how the concept of space lattice developed since ancient times up to the nineteenth century, and how our conception of the nature of light has changed over time. The contributions of the main actors of the story, prior to the discovery, at the time of the discovery and immediately afterwards, are described through their writings and are put into the context of the time, accompanied by brief biographical details. This thoroughly researched account on the multiple faces of a scientific specialty, X-ray crystallography, is aimed both at the scientists, who rarely subject the historical material of past discoveries in their field to particular scrutiny with regard to the historical details and at the historians of science who often lack the required expert knowledge to scrutinize the involved technical content in sufficient depth (M. Eckert - Metascience).

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Professor Authier has exquisitely brought those Early Days to life, with a very human and entertaining account of the science, rigorously described, spiced with many little known personal and biographical details resulting in a story revealing how it really happened. The newcomers to the field will be exposed to a proud scientific enterprise and tradition that will be appreciated and treasured by the growing community of practitioners of the discipline that has produced a record number of Nobel prizes." — Joel Bernstein, Faculty of Science, New York University, Abu Dhabi

"This is the definitive account of the discovery that truly changed our world. This thorough study, with its wealth of historical detail, should be required reading for everyone seriously interested in crystals. " — Marjorie Senechal, Smith College, Northampton, MA

"The title of the volume underestimates the richness of its content, which is much larger. This clear, rigorous and well balanced review of the early developments of crystallography and X-ray diffraction will be indispensable for all students and scientists interested in the field." — Francesco Abbona, Università degli Studi di Torino

"A comprehensive and enthralling opus of encyclopedic and historical character!" — Helmut Klapper, Universität Bonn

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191635021
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
08/01/2013
Series:
International Union of Crystallography Texts on Crystallography
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
28 MB
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Meet the Author

André Authier is Professor Emeritus at the Institut de Minéralogie, de Physique des Matériaux et de Cosmochimie, Université P. et M. Curie in Paris. He was Full Professor at Paris University and former president of the International Union of Crystallography.

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