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Inorganic chemistry classes


Physical chemistry: thermodynamics
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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For physical chemistry we had Erich Heymann. He was from Germany; he was a Jew who had obviously left Germany in the mid-30s, luckily for Melbourne came to us, and from him I learnt thermodynamics and had long discussions with him. I must have been... precocious I suppose might have been the word there, but I got so enthralled that I wrote to quite a few thermodynamic people around the world, well I was only a first year student. And one I remember, I wrote to Brønsted in... who'd been talking about the thermodynamics of electrolyte solutions, and wrote to him and the letter came back undelivered,' in enemy alien territory', because he'd been occupied in Denmark by the Germans. So Heymann taught me thermodynamics, but physical chemistry in general.

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: Germany, 1930s, Denmark, University of Melbourne, Erich Heymann, Johannes Nicolaus Brønsted

Duration: 1 minute, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011