Early Days of X-ray Crystallography

Hardcover | November 29, 2015

byAndre 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 ofX-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-raycrystallography 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. Thecontributions 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 thehistorians of science who often lack the required expert knowledge to scrutinize the involved technical content in sufficient depth (M. Eckert - Metascience).

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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 ofX-rays and the space-lattice hypothesis. It had...

Andre Authier is Professor Emeritus at the Institut de Mineralogie, de Physique des Materiaux et de Cosmochimie, Universite P. et M. Curie in Paris. He was Full Professor at Paris University and former president of the International Union of Crystallography.

other books by Andre Authier

Dynamical Theory of X-Ray Diffraction
Dynamical Theory of X-Ray Diffraction

Hardcover|Jul 15 2001

$372.05 online$495.00list price(save 24%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 9.45 × 6.61 × 0.81 inPublished:November 29, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198754051

ISBN - 13:9780198754053

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Table of Contents

1. Significance of the discovery of X-ray diffraction2. The various approaches to the concept of space lattice3. The dual nature of light4. Rontgen and the discovery of X-rays5. The nature of X-rays: waves or corpuscles?6. The discovery of X-ray diffraction and the birth of X-ray analysis7. The first steps8. The route to crystal structure determination9. X-rays as a branch of optics10. Early applications of X-ray crystallography11. Unravelling the mystery of crystals - the forerunners12. The birth and rise of the space-lattice concept

Editorial Reviews

"Readers of the Early Days of X-ray Crystallography from both camps will be rewarded by a thoroughly researched account on the multiple faces of a scientific specialty. Historians of science will find here a rich source for further study. Crystallographers will appreciate the lesson that thehistorical roots of their discipline are more ramified than it may appear from a mere rational reconstruction of ideas and concepts." --Michael Eckert, Metascience