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, cutting forward very rapidly – I’ll come back again to what I’ve been saying – but cutting forward, I’ll just say that after eight or nine years of this, we became... because the group was so productive, we became recognised as experts in this area, both in this country and more widely throughout the world, and Terry Gibb and I decided that at the end of the decade, it would be a good time to write a book on it. And we wrote a book which was very well received, Mössbauer Spectroscopy, which for several decades was the ‘bible’ of Mössbauer spectroscopers.
We gave the physical basis of the effect. It was a book written for chemists, by chemists, and it wasn’t a physics book – as there was a physics book available – but our concentration was: explain in chemically intelligible terms what the effect was, what it could do, and then we went through all the known compounds, and all the known papers, of which there were many hundred by that time, into quite a large book.
Title: Writing the definitive book on "Mössbauer Spectroscopy"
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.