Laue, Max Theodor Felix von (1879-1960), a German physicist. Laue received the 1914 Nobel Prize in physics for discovering that X rays are diffracted, or broken up, when they pass through crystals. This discovery provided evidence that X rays are waves and led to the measurement of their wavelength. It also provided a means of studying the atomic structure of crystals. Laue, an associate of Max Planck and Albert Einstein, also made contributions to the study of electromagnetism, light diffraction, and relativity.
Laue received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Berlin in 1903 and became a professor of theoretical physics there in 1919. He resigned his position in 1943 in protest against the Nazi regime. After World War II he was a director of the Max Planck Society until 1959, when he retired.