William Henry Bragg was a pioneer of X-ray crystallography and a hugely influential scientist. He was born in Cumbria but moved to University of Adelaide in 1886. In the mid 1890s he made the first X-ray tube in Australia and started work on the theory and use of X-rays. In 1909 he returned to England and a few years afterwards he and his son William Lawrence Bragg worked out how to determine the molecular structure of crystals using X-rays, for which they won the 1915 Nobel Prize. In 1923 Bragg took charge of the Royal Institution (Ri) and its laboratories, creating one of the world's leading X-ray crystallography research groups.
The painting is by C. E. S. Phillips, who was Secretary of the Ri at the time and probably painted in the building. In the background he added a portrait of Michael Faraday which is also in the Ri collections.
Where to see this painting?
The Royal Institution
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