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By Andre Authier

2012 marked the centenary of 1 of the main major discoveries of the early 20th century, the invention of X-ray diffraction (March 1912, by means of Laue, Friedrich, and Knipping) and of Bragg's legislations (November 1912). the invention of X-ray diffraction proven the wave nature of X-rays and the space-lattice speculation. It had significant effects: the research of the constitution of atoms, and the choice of the atomic constitution of fabrics. This had a momentous impression in chemistry, physics, mineralogy, fabric technological know-how, and biology.

This e-book relates the invention itself, the early days of X-ray crystallography, and how the inside track of the invention unfold around the global. It explains how the 1st crystal buildings have been decided, and recounts that have been the early functions of X-ray crystallography. It additionally tells how the idea that of house lattice has constructed on account that precedent days, and the way our figuring out of the character of sunshine has replaced over the years. The contributions of the most actors of the tale, ahead of the invention, on the time of the invention and instantly afterwards, are defined via their writings and are positioned into the context of the time, observed by way of short biographical information.

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In Opticks (1704), Book III, query 31, Newton wrote: ‘all bodies seem to be composed of hard particles, for otherwise fluids would not congeal. Since the particles of Iceland spar [calcite] act all the same way upon the rays of light for causing the unusual refraction, may it not be supposed that in the formation of this crystal, the particles not only ranged themselves in rank and file for concreting in regular figures, but also by some kind of polar virtue turned their homogeneal [sic] sides the same way’.

2) came up with the same difficulties as Haüy with the question of what could be the primitive form of a crystal of which the smallest cleavage polyhedron is an octahedron or a tetrahedron, as in fluorspar. He solved the problem by assuming the crystal to be composed of small spherical particles that could agglomerate to form tetrahedra or octahedra (Fig. 14), in the manner of R. Hooke, of whom he was not aware at the start of his work. He also considered the packing of spheroids 6Johann Josef Ritter von Prechtl was an Austrian scientist of German origin, born 16 November 1778 in Bischofsheim, Germany, died 28 October 1854 in Vienna, Austria.

21 Descartes, who was staying in the Netherlands at the time, paid occasional visits at his home and was impressed by his skill in mathematics. Even before entering university, Huygens entered in a correspondence with Father Mersenne and, prompted by him, worked on the problem of the shape of a rope hanging from its two ends under its own weight (the catenary). He only fully solved the problem in 1690, but his 1646 study of the equilibrium polygons of force struck even Descartes. In his young years, Huygens was an admirer of Descartes’s philosophy but became progressively more critical, for instance in relation to the laws of impact between elastic bodies and to the theory of light.

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