INSTITUTO DE FISICA LA PLATA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
Centennial of X-ray diffraction: development of an unpromising experiment with a wrong explanation
OSCAR E. PIRO
Congreso; 99º Reunión Nacional de Física de la AFA; 2014
Asociación Física Argentina
In February 2012 in Munich, P. Ewald, an A. Sommerfeld?s Ph student, consult M. von Laue on matters related to crystal optics, his thesis subject. During the conversation, Laue conceives the idea that a crystal might act as a 3-D grating to the X-rays. Despite the idea meet with skepticism among his colleagues, Laue succeeds in getting the help of two W. Roentgen?s doctorands. W. Friedrich, a Sommerfeld?s laboratory assistant, and P. Knipping to undertake the by now legendary experiments that originated a new branch of Physics. The results solved two fundamental questions of the time, namely, are the X-rays electromagnetic radiation (light) of very short wavelength? and are the crystals spatial periodic arrangements? The affirmative answer to both questions was immediately followed in 1913 by the instrumentation and re-interpretation of the phenomenon through the pioneer work by W. H. Bragg and his son W. L. Bragg, who paved the way to the portentous development of structural crystallography by X-ray diffraction that took place during the last 100 years.