• We have now got what seems to be definite proof that an X ray which spreads out in a spherical form from a source as a wave through the aether can when it meets an atom collect up all its energy from all round and concentrate it on the atom. It is as if when a circular wave on water met an obstacle, the wave were all suddenly to travel round the circle and disappear all round and concentrate its energy on attacking the obstacle. Mechanically of course this is absurd, but mechanics have in this direction been for some time a broken reed.

    Henry Moseley's letter to Margery Moseley (February 2, 1913), as quoted in "H. G. J. Moseley: The Life and Letters of an English Physicist 1887-1915" edited by J. L. Heilbron (p. 201), 1974.