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Quotes

Quotes by or related to W.L. Bragg


"Todd says that he told Bragg that the amide group was planar, but apparently Bragg did not understand what he said. I was fortunate in having a good understanding of two fields, structural chemistry and x-ray diffraction. My recommendation to young scientists is that they get a thorough knowledge of one field, and also some knowledge of other fields of science."
Linus Pauling. "How My Interest in Proteins Developed." January 12, 1993.


"When I saw the alpha-helix and saw what a beautiful, elegant structure it was, I was thunderstruck and was furious with myself for not having built this, but on the other hand, I wondered, was it really right? ... I realized that I had a horse hair in a drawer. I set it up on the X-ray camera and gave it a two hour exposure, then took the film to the dark room with my heart in my mouth, wondering what it showed, and when I developed it, there was the 1.5 angstrom reflection which I had predicted and which excluded all structures other than the alpha-helix. So on Monday morning I stormed...into Bragg's office and showed him this, and Bragg said, 'Whatever made you think of that?' And I said, 'Because I was so furious with myself for having missed that beautiful structure.' To which Bragg replied coldly, 'I wish I had made you angry earlier.'"
Max Perutz. BBC Interview 1997.

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