Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bragg’s Law

Josephine Schuppang of Technical University in Berlin writes,

I was pointed to your blog when I talked to a friend about my newest tattoo. He told me that you are collecting scientific tattoos. I didn’t even know there were other people who did that sort of thing. You bet my tattoo artist looked strangely at me for my request.

So attached find a picture of my tattoo of Bragg’s Law. It is along the side of my left foot and shows nicely in my favorite pair of heels.

I studied Physics, and although I wanted to go in to Astronomy I got lost a bit and landed in Crystallography, which has a long history here in Berlin. Last year I wrote my thesis on the transmission electron microscopy of nitride semiconductors. After my defense I wanted to get a tattoo to remember this occasion. But all the formulas I did use were too long and complex to use, and all the images I took wouldn’t have worked.

So I decided on a fundamental formula, Bragg’s Law. It is important for electron diffraction, so that fits. And I have always liked the Bragg story, the father-son tag team of physics and the fact that William Lawrence Bragg was only 25 when they got their Nobel Prize.