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Henry John Woods

Henry John Woods (c.1903 - April 22nd, 1984, aged 81) was a leading representatives in the field of fibrous protein research. He was a pioneer in the field of low-angle X-ray investigations of a-keratins.

He also classified textile patterns (See D.W. Crowe The mosaic patterns of H. J Woods, in Symmetry: Unifying Human Understanding, edited by 1. Hargittai, 407-411, New York:, Pergamon, 1986.) The 46 two-color repeating patterns of the plane were originally classified by him, in 1935-36.)

Woods' scientific career began in 1928 at Leeds University where he was appointed Research Assistant to W. T. Astbury who had just joined the Textile Department and had founded the Textile Physics Laboratory. With Astbury he published some classical papers on "X-ray studies of the structure of hair, wool, and related fibres".

Woods and Astbury recognized that the a-~ transformations involved an actual stretching of the molecular chains. Today it is well-known that helical structures are transformed into pleated sheet structures. In the thirties, however, it was revolutionary to explain a macroscopic stretching process using molecular arguments and to postulate correlations between the X-ray structure and the physical properties of fibrous proteins.

Woods was always proud of introducing a new word - "supercontraction" - into the English language.

Astbury and Woods worked together in fruitful collaboration until Astbury became Professor of Biomolecular Structure in 1945.

Woods remained in the Department of Textile Industries, was appointed Lecturer (1945), Senior Lecturer (1950), and finally Reader (1958) in Textile Physics.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Henry_John_Woods". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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