Sir William Lawrence Bragg (March 31, 1890 – July 1, 1971) was an Australian physicist who independently and in partnership with his father, William Henry Bragg, pioneered the use of X-rays for determining the atomic structure of crystalline substances. For their contributions, father and son jointly received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915. The younger Bragg was only 25 at the time, making him the youngest scientist to win the Nobel prize. Years later, in 1953, he was director of the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, when James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
From a Unification perspective, several points can be made:
- Bragg's brilliant mental capabilities were linked to his God-given spiritual dimension, and also reflected the Creator's intelligence and capabilities. Such capabilities set the human species apart from all other species on Earth. The human desire to engage in scientific and other intellectual pursuits, regardless of their practical benefits, demonstrates that our lives can transcend the day-to-day, survival mode. Moreover, our long-term happiness is linked to going beyond that survival mode.
- God's desire is that all people express brilliance of mind far beyond what we think is normally possible. Our deliberate separation from God has dulled our spirits and minds, and we have been trapped into lowering our expectations, in the belief that where we are at (internally) is where we are supposed to be and will always be.
- As humans endowed with free will and responsibility, our role is to understand the workings of nature and to fit in harmoniously, contributing to and benefiting from the larger whole. In this manner, we can establish a stewardship of true love over the creation, which is what the Unification principle calls the fulfillment of God's Third Great Blessing to humanity.
- God works through prepared human beings to raise our thoughts and our standards of life. Thus, leading scientists (such as Bragg), as well as major religious leaders, have received inspirations that elevated our understanding of the world around us.
- Ultimately, Bragg's work became a service to humanity. As the Unification principle points out, when we live for the sake of others, we substantiate the divine nature God has given us. Based on that, we can establish a world of peace that all humanity can benefit from.