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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1914
Max von Laue

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Max von Laue - Facts

Max von Laue

Max von Laue

Born: 9 October 1879, Pfaffendorf, Germany

Died: 23 April 1960, Berlin, West Germany (now Germany)

Affiliation at the time of the award: Frankfurt-on-the-Main University, Frankfurt-on-the-Main, Germany

Prize motivation: "for his discovery of the diffraction of X-rays by crystals"

Field: atomic physics, interferometry

Prize share: 1/1

Unmasked the True Identity of X-Rays

A phenomenon known as "diffraction patterns" occurs when waves pass through small, tightly spaced openings in a screen. In 1912, Max von Laue came upon the idea that X-rays passing through crystals might create similar patterns. That is, that a crystal's structure would correspond to the openings in a screen. Experiments confirmed Max von Laue's idea. This demonstrated that X-rays could be described as waves. The method also made it possible to use diffraction patterns to determine crystals' structures.

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