Lars Vegard: key communicator and pioneer crystallographer

Carl H. Schwalbe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Norwegian physicist Lars Vegard studied with William H. Bragg in Leeds and then with Wilhelm Wien in Würzburg. There, in 1912, he heard a lecture by Max Laue describing the first X-ray diffraction experiments and took accurate notes which he promptly sent to Bragg. Although now remembered mainly for his work on the physics of the aurora borealis, Vegard also did important pioneering work in three areas of crystallography. He derived chemical insight from a series of related crystal structures that he determined, Vegard's Law relates the unit-cell dimensions of mixed crystals to those of the pure components, and he determined some of the first crystal structures of gases solidified at cryogenic temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-24
Number of pages16
JournalCrystallography Reviews
Issue number1
Early online date1 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Crystallography Reviews on 01/10/13, available online:


  • Lars Vegard
  • low-temperature crystallography
  • mixed crystals
  • Vegard's Law


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