a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


How isotopes affect atomic weight


Forming a team at IUPAC
Norman Greenwood Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

But to return to IUPAC [International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry], we were set up to study all the literature that was being published year by year and to recommend the best possible values for the atomic weight of each element. And that is what we did.

I joined in 1965 at the Paris meeting. By 1967 – we meet every two years in Cortina d’Ampezzo – I was a full member, in fact, I was then elected chairman at that stage and I stayed as chairman for quite some time thereafter. And as secretary, and a man who did a lot of the work, was Steffen Peiser, who was a physicist from the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, and we worked as a team. And the other members of the commission who were experts from many different countries would feed us with information and we would meet every two years for two or three days with the whole group and discuss what our report would be. And then that, for the next two years, was the atomic weights.

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.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

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.

Tags: IUPAC, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, 1965, 1967, Cortina d'Ampezzo, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, Steffen Peiser

Duration: 1 minute, 22 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011