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.
It turned out not to be so easy to make, and Allan Storr and Malcolm Wallbridge worked very hard on that area, and we got what we thought was very good evidence for it, and that work stood for quite a while, several decades in fact. But I think more recently, about five or 10 years ago, using some more modern techniques, Tony Downs, who’d been with me on the staff in Newcastle, had gone down to Oxford, and he continued that work down there, and many, many years later, as I say, I think he showed that probably our work was not quite what we’d thought it was, and that he’d got the real gallium hydride. But it was a very testing and interesting piece of work to do.
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.
Newcastle University, Oxford University, Allan Storr, Malcolm Wallbridge, Anthony J Downs