The University of Leeds has officially opened the Sir William Henry Bragg Center for Teaching and Research in Physical Sciences and Engineering.
A specially composed fanfare performed by the Black Dyke Band evoked the mathematical puzzle faced by Bragg – then Cavendish Professor of Physics at Leeds – and his son Lawrence as they carried out their work on the atomic structure of crystals using beams of X-rays.
Their work eventually led to the father and son team being jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915. Their work pioneered modern crystallography, a technique used to study the structure of DNA and other biological molecules used in the development of new drugs and advances in space. and computer technology.
The Bragg Project is the largest capital investment in teaching and research facilities in the university’s history. It integrates the Portland stone facade of the Grade II listed structure’s former School of Mines with the space behind remodeled and connected to a new seven-storey glass and steel complex with teaching rooms and laboratories.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk said: “The Braggs were incredible individuals, whose curiosity and creativity transcended traditional academic boundaries and inspired their groundbreaking research.
“The Sir William Henry Bragg Building will strengthen interdisciplinary working in Leeds, with boundaries between academic subjects increasingly blurred and new connections forged between education, research and industry – locally, regionally and globally. .”
*The Bragg Fanfare was written by Philip Wilby, Musical Associate and Composer of the Black Dyke Band and Emeritus Professor at Leeds School of Music.