William Henry Bragg in Adelaide Academic Article uri icon


  • This essay presents an account of W. H. Bragg's earliest research program in Australia during the years 1904-1907: a study of the behavior of alpha particles from radioactive decay. It is suggested that problems associated with distance and isolation played a pivotal role in Bragg's thinking and acting during this period and that his use of two "advocates," Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy, was essential to the success of the program. It is further argued that this account supports a substantial amendment of the center-periphery model of colonial science to embrace a much closer attention to place and locality; that is, it supports a polycentric model (in which the center might still be prominent).

publication date

  • March 2004