Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.
Now, in that area, we also did work with the aluminium and gallium hydrides, which I briefly mentioned before. The aluminium hydride work enormously excited the people at DuPont, because unbeknown to us, they had been working very hard on that, and, in fact, other people in the States had been working on some of the boron hydrides as potential rocket fuels, which I also didn’t know at that stage. But it did mean that we could get supplies of some of these things, particularly pentaborane, and decaborane as well at one stage, from the States, and that was very helpful in our work. Saved us making them.
Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.