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Biographical entry Bragg, William Lawrence (1890 - 1971)


31 March 1890
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
1 July 1971
Waldringfield, England


William Lawrence Bragg was born and educated in Adelaide and then moved to England where he was Professor of Physics, Victoria University, Manchester 1919-37, at Cambridge 1938-54 and Director, 1954-66, of the Royal Institution. He shared the Nobel Prize in 1915 with his father, William Henry Bragg.


Born Adelaide, 31 March 1890. Died Waldringfield, England, 1 July 1971. Educated University of Adelaide (BA 1908). OBE, MC, Kt 1941, Companion of Honour 1967. Fellow and lecturer in natural science, University of Cambridge 1914, work on sound-ranging for the artillery in France 1915-18; Professor of Physics, Victoria University, Manchester 1919-37, Director, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington 1937-38, Cavendish professor of experimental physics, Cambridge 1938-54, Director, Royal Institution 1954-66. Fellow, Royal Society 1921; Hughes 1931, Royal 1946 and Copley 1966 medals, Royal Society of London.

Archival resources

Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide

  • William H. Bragg and William L. (Lawrence) Bragg - Research Records of John Jenkin, MSS 0144; Barr Smith Library, Special Collections, The University of Adelaide. Details

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • William Lawrence Bragg - Records, 1900 - 1970, DeB 477; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details

Published resources


  • Jenkin, John, The Bragg Family in Adelaide: a Pictorial Celebration, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, 1986. Details
  • Jenkin, John, William and Lawrence Bragg: the Most Extraordinary Collaboration in Science, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007, 458 pp. Details
  • South Australian Museum, Bragg About Adelaide: Two Men, a Science Revolution, a Nobel Prize, it all Started Here, Adelaide, 2005, 35 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Beale, R, 'William and Lawrence Bragg', in Australia's Nobel Laureates - Adventures in Innovation, ABIE Australian Business and Investment Explorer, Sydney, 2004, pp. 24-33. Details
  • Phillips, David, 'Sir William Lawrence Bragg, 1890-1971', in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004. Details

Journal Articles

  • 'Obituaries: Oscar Ulrich Vonwiller: Clive Melville Harris: Charles Bickerton Blackburn: Lawrence Bragg', Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 106, no. 3/4, 1973, pp. 130-132. Details
  • Beyler, Richard, 'William and Lawrence Bragg, Father and Son: the Most Extraordinary Collaboration in Science', Annals of Science, vol. 67, no. 1, 2010, pp. 137-9. Details
  • Jenkin, John, 'The 1901 Royal Visit to Adelaide: an Account by William and Gwendoline Bragg', Journal of the Historical Society of South Australia, vol. 14, 1986, pp. 19-34. Details
  • Jenkin, John, 'A Unique Partnership: William and Lawrence Bragg and the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics', Minerva, vol. 39, 2001, pp. 373-392. Details


Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.