Isabel Ellie Knaggs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Isabel Ellie Knaggs
Born2 August 1893
Died29 November 1981
Alma materImperial College London

University of Cambridge

Bedford College, London
Scientific career
InstitutionsRoyal Institution
Burroughs Wellcome

Isabel Ellie Knaggs (2 August 1893 – 29 November 1980) was a South African born crystallographer. She was educated and worked in the UK. She worked with Kathleen Lonsdale on the crystal structure of benzil.

Early life and education[edit]

Knaggs was born in Durban. She may have attended a Froebel kindergarten in Hampstead. She attended North London Collegiate School and later attended Bedford College, London.[1] In 1913 Knaggs joined Girton College at the University of Cambridge to study chemistry.[1] She studied with William Pope on the determination of crystal structures.[2] Arthur Hutchinson appointed her as a research assistant.[3] She was elected as a member of the Geological Society of London in 1921.[3][4] She completed her PhD, The Relation between the Crystal Structure and Constitution of Carbon Compounds, with Special Reference to Simple Substitution Products of Methane, in 1923 at Imperial College London.[5][6] During her PhD Knaggs remained as a demonstrator in geology at Bedford College, London.[3]


In 1925 she was awarded a two-year Hertha Ayrton fellowship to join the Royal Institution.[3] Knaggs worked with William Henry Bragg and Kathleen Lonsdale.[3][7] She looked at diffuse reflection of x-rays from single crystals.[8] She secured a permanent position in 1927.[3] She determined the crystal structure of cyanuric triazide.[3][9][10]

Knaggs co-authored Tables of Cubic Crystal Structures with Berta Karlik and Constance Elam in 1932.[11] She served as an advisor to Burroughs Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline).[3] In her retirement, Knaggs was elected as a visiting scientist to the Royal Institution.[3]

Personal life[edit]

In 1979, Knaggs moved to Australia. On 29 November 1980, Knaggs died in Sydney, Australia.[3]


  1. ^ a b Kahr, Bart (2015-08-25). "Broader Impacts of Women in Crystallography". Crystal Growth & Design. 15 (10): 4715–4730. doi:10.1021/acs.cgd.5b00457. ISSN 1528-7483.
  2. ^ Fifty Years of X-Ray Diffraction - Dedicated to the International Union of Crystallography on the Occasion of the Commemoration Meeting in Munich July 1962 | P.P. Ewald | Springer. Springer. 1962. ISBN 9781461599630.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j F., Rayner-Canham, Marelene (2008). Chemistry was their life : pioneering British women chemists, 1880-1949. Rayner-Canham, Geoffrey. London: Imperial College Press. ISBN 9781860949876. OCLC 665046168.
  4. ^ Burek, Cynthia V. (2009). "The first female Fellows and the status of women in the Geological Society of London". Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 317 (1): 373–407. doi:10.1144/sp317.21. ISSN 0305-8719.
  5. ^ Knaggs, Isabel Ellie (1923). "IX.—The relation between the crystal structure and the constitution of carbon compounds. Part I. Compounds of the type CX4". J. Chem. Soc., Trans. 123: 71–79. doi:10.1039/CT9232300071. ISSN 0368-1645.
  6. ^ "Doctor of Philosophy (Science): Honours and Higher Degrees: Internal Students | British History Online". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  7. ^ "Isabel Ellie Knaggs | University Women's International Networks Database". (in German). Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  8. ^ LONSDALE, K.; KNAGGS, I. E.; SMITH, H. (September 1940). "Diffuse Reflection of X-Rays by Single Crystals". Nature. 146 (3697): 332–333. doi:10.1038/146332a0. ISSN 0028-0836.
  9. ^ Knaggs, I. Ellie (1935-07-01). "The crystal structure of cyanuric triazide". Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A. 150 (871): 576–602. doi:10.1098/rspa.1935.0123. ISSN 0080-4630.
  10. ^ E., Downie, Laura (2012). Pathways to recovering single-bonded nitrogen at ambient conditions : high pressure studies of molecular and ionic azides. Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. ISBN 9780494741825. OCLC 824499344.
  11. ^ Knaggs, Isabel Ellie; Elam, Constance Fligg; Karlik, Berta (1932). Tables of Cubic Crystal Structure of Elements and Compounds. Published by A. Hilger, ltd.