Charles Glover Barkla
Born: 7 June 1877, Widnes, United Kingdom
Died: 23 October 1944, Edinburgh, Scotland
Affiliation at the time of the award: Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for his discovery of the characteristic Röntgen radiation of the elements"
Field: atomic physics
Charles Glover Barkla received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1918.
Prize share: 1/1
Following the discovery of X-rays, it was soon established that an irradiated compound emitted secondary X-rays. In the secondary spectrum there appeared lines corresponding to different wave lengths of the radiation. Charles Barkla showed that the secondary spectrum was unique for every element, independent of temperature, structure and chemical composition. The spectrum was therefore a characteristic property of the atom and became an important tool in atomic research.