June 7, 1877 – Birth of Charles Glover Barkla, Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in X-ray spectroscopy

Charles Glover Barkla was born on June 7, 1877, in Widnes, United Kingdom.

Barkla studied mathematics and physics at the University of Liverpool. In 1899, thanks to a scholarship, he began working at the Cavendish Laboratory at Trinity College under the orders of the scientist Joseph John Thomson. Years after finishing his undergraduate degree, he earned a Ph.D.

He was a professor in Liverpool until in 1909 he became the Wheatstone Professor of Physics at King's College London. From 1913 until his death on October 23, 1944, he held the post of Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

He was a professor in Liverpool until in 1909 he became the Wheatstone Professor of Physics at King's College London. From 1913 until his death on October 23, 1944, he held the post of Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Barkla began his research on radiation in 1902 and first observed the emission of secondary radiation from substances exposed to X-rays. He showed that the secondary radiation from heavier atoms and molecules had two components: X-rays that they scattered unchanged and a more penetrating type of radiation, called characteristic radiation (because it is specific to each element).

His research on characteristic radiation was fundamental to later investigations of the internal structure of atoms, contributing to the work of Henry Moseley (who established the meaning of atomic number) and Kai Manne Siegbahn (who analyzed the spectrum of X-rays).

Barkla was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1917 for his research on the radiation emitted by substances when exposed to X-rays.

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