Max von Laue (1879-1960) In commemoration of the savant in the International Year of Crystallography 2014 and on the centenary of awarding him the Nobel Prize in physics

Andrzej B. Więckowski


Max Theodor Felix von Laue (1879-1960) was one of the greatest physicists of the 1st half of the 20th century. He was born on 9th October, 1879 in Pfaffendorf in the municipality Ehrenbreitstein near Coblenz. The ideas of Max von Laue on the interaction of X-rays with atoms led to the discovery of X-ray interferences on crystals in radiographs which, following his initiative, were made by Walter Friedrich and Paul Knipping on the University of Munich in the year 1912. With this discovery Max von Laue confirmed the wave nature of X-rays and the three-dimensional lattice structure of crystals as well. On the base of his courageous explanation of the diffraction phenomenon of X-rays on crystals, he received the Nobel Prize in physics already in the year 1914. Max von Laue died after a car accident on 24th April, 1960 in Berlin (West). The contribution contains also mentions of facts from the way of life of Max von Laue, on which it is only very scarcely reported.


Max von Laue; diffraction phenomenon; wave nature of X-rays; lattice structure of crystals

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