Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first peoples and traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we live and work. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples represent the world’s oldest living culture and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Image: “aUStralia” created by Rosie Douglas, a student from Mount St Bernard School, Far North Queensland

Why Do We ‘Bragg’ About
Crystallography in Australia?

Hopefully, as you’ve been following Bragg Your Pattern for a while now, you’ll have a bit of an idea of what crystallography is – and how it is useful to our world (stay tuned for more!). 

One of the reasons that there are so many scientists crazy about patterns and crystals in Australia is because we have really strong ties to the very beginnings this science. Much of this is through one person, William Lawrence Bragg (often just known as Lawrence), who was born in Adelaide in 1890.  A curious person from a very young age (there is a cuttlefish Sepia braggi name for him which he discovered in childhood), he studied physics and maths at University of Adelaide before moving to UK with his family, going on to study at University of Cambridge. 

His father (also a scientist – William Henry Bragg) was working at the time, trying to find a way to describe patterns that came about when you passed x-rays through crystals.  This had been discovered by a group of German researchers led by Max von Laue and was quite the hot topic. Father and son Bragg discussed and started working on this and the breakthrough came after Lawrence Bragg was inspired to apply similar physics to several ripples moving though water. 

Image: The.ever.kid and Gregors via Wikipedia

X-rays interact with atoms and cause ripples – which make the patterns we can observe.

He and his father refined this to be a simple equation, the Bragg equation, which directly relates patterns of x-ray spots to the distances between atoms in crystals. For this work both Bragg’s won the 1915 Nobel Prize for Physics. Lawrence is and still is the youngest person ever to have received this as he was only 25 at the time.  It is this equation that crystallographers now use everyday and has revealed crystal structures of everything from diamond to DNA.     

Making Crystallography Crystal Clear

Let’s re-cap what crystallography is through our series of
short educational videos below.

What Is Crystallography?
What do crystallographers do?

Tweets of the Week




Neat new coasters! #Braggyourpattern


Patterns are everywhere! #BraggYourPattern



First one is the fabric I used on the headboard of my bed. There are some dislocations and imperfections #BraggYourPattern


I suspect the person stacking the fruit at my local supermarket is a 'hidden' crystallographer #BraggYourPattern


What I look at while eating breakfast every morning - an Indonesian rayan woven placemat - a good start to a crystallograher’s day #BraggYourPattern   

Share in the Pattern Fun By

Posting a pattern on socials and tag #BraggYourPattern

Following us on Twitter and Instagram @EverydayCrystallography

Forwarding this newsletter to friends and colleagues who may be

interested in patterns, crystals, STEM initiatives, classroom activities.

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