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Early Days of X-ray Crystallography$
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André Authier

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659845

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659845.001.0001

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Early Applications of X‐Ray Crystallography

Early Applications of X‐Ray Crystallography

Chapter:
(p.230) 10 Early Applications of X‐Ray Crystallography
Source:
Early Days of X-ray Crystallography
Author(s):

André Authier

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659845.003.0010

The early applications of X-ray crystallography in different fields of science in the period up to 1913 are described. Chemistry: the first crystal structure determinations shed a new light on the nature of chemical bonds in solids and led to Goldschmidt’s and Pauling’s rules; the benzene ring was shown to be planar. Metallurgy: the crystal structures of many elements and alloys were determined, and accurate phase diagrams established; preliminary studies were made of annealing and cold-working. Mineralogy: the crystal structures of many minerals were determined and, most importantly, the classification of silicates was established. Physics: the existence of zero-point energy, predicted by Planck, was confirmed; Planck’s constant, h, was determined with high accuracy; preliminary structural interpretation of the piezoelectricity of quartz was made. Biochemistry: the structure of natural fibres and, in particular, of keratin was analysed. X-ray spectroscopy expanded rapidly, experimentally with de Broglie, Wagner, and the Siegbahn school, and theoretically with Kossel and Sommerfeld.

Keywords:   chemistry, classification of silicates, Goldschmidt’s rules, Kossel, mineralogy, Pauling’s rules, Siegbahn, Sommerfeld, X-ray spectroscopy, zero-point energy

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