How Rosalind Franklin Discovered the Helical Structure of DNA: Experiments in diffraction

@article{Schmitzer2010HowRF,
  title={How Rosalind Franklin Discovered the Helical Structure of DNA: Experiments in diffraction},
  author={Heidrun Schmitzer and Dennis Tierney and Gregory A. Braun},
  journal={Bulletin of the American Physical Society},
  year={2010}
}
Rosalind Franklin, a chemical physicist (1920–1958), used x‐ray diffraction to determine the structure of DNA. What exactly could she read out from her x‐ray pattern, shown in Fig. 1?1 In lecture notes dated November 1951, R. Franklin wrote the following: “The results suggest a helical structure (which must be very closely packed) containing 2, 3 or 4 co‐axial nucleic acid chains per helical unit, and having the phosphate groups near the outside.”2 This was 16 months before J. D. Watson and F… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

The 60th anniversary of the discovery of DNA secondary structure.

The most important discoveries that enabled the advances in molecular biology and the beginning of the genomic era will be presented in this article.

Estimating the Size of Onion Epidermal Cells from Diffraction Patterns

Bioscience and premedical profession students are a major demographic served by introductory physics courses at many colleges and universities. Exposing these students to biological applications of

Gender, women and scientific research.

This narrative review describes some relevant aspects of the subjective difference that exists and favors men over women in the fields of sciences and research, starting from a historical perspective in the light of feminist movements.

Engaging young women in physics: An intervention to support young women’s physics identity development

This study presents findings on the physics identity development of female students in the German Physics Olympiad who participated in an intervention designed to support their engagement in physics.

Estudio del ADN: una revelación personal del ser humano

El presente ensayo tiene como proposito analizar la literatura cientifica, no solo referente al ADN como estructura genetica, sino desde la vision de los filosofos antiguos, cuyas contribuciones han

Single slit interference made easy with a strand of hair and a laser

Students can easily measure the width of a strand of their own hair with a monochromatic light source such as a laser. This inexpensive activity engages students in an application of single slit

STRUCTURAL VARIATION IN CIRCULAR DNA INFLUENCED BY NUCLEOTIDE SEQUENCE AND ROTATIONAL RIGID BODY PARAMETERS By

A glossary of scientific terms and examples is provided for the purposes of diagnosis and usage.

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 12 REFERENCES

The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA

This is a reissue of the classic account of the discovery of the structure of DNA, where James D. Watson tells of the excitement of being a young American scientist in Cambridge and how he saw the challenge of a great discovery waiting to be made.

X-ray Diffraction and the Discovery of the Structure of DNA. A Tutorial and Historical Account of James Watson and Francis Crick's Use of X-ray Diffraction in Their Discovery of the Double Helix Structure of DNA

A step-by-step method of teaching the X-ray diffraction analysis of DNA using the approach employed by James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin, and Raymond Gosling at an upper

Revealing the backbone structure of B-DNA from laser optical simulations of its X-ray diffraction diagram

A visible laser and a set of nine specially designed diffraction gratings held on a single slide have been used to build up progressively a classroom optical simulation of the diffraction of X-rays

X-Ray Diffraction from Helices: Structure of DNA

A review is given in elementary terms of the diffraction of waves from helices, with special reference to the structure of DNA. The essential features of the experimental results are discussed.

Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: Molecular Structure of Deoxypentose Nucleic Acids

The molecular structure of Deoxypentose Nucleic Acids is described in detail for the first time in a systematic fashion, revealing its role in the building blocks of DNA, RNA, and protein.

Molecular structure of deoxypentose nucleic acids.

The molecular structure of Deoxypentose Nucleic Acids is described in detail for the first time in a systematic fashion, revealing its role in the building blocks of DNA, RNA, and protein.

Left-handed DNA in vivo.

Supercoil-induced changes in the structure of the primary helix in vitro provided confirmation that left-handed helices were responsible for this behavior and the presence in vivo of left- handed inserts elicits specific deletions and plasmid incompatibilities in certain instances.

Structure of DNA,” Am

  • J. Phys. 36, 610–616
  • 1968