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.


Our creative group


One of the first NMR spectrometers
Norman Greenwood Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

Another important instrument we got was a nuclear magnetic resonance. My students, in later years, looked at me when I said we got one of the first nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers in the country. And the fact was that, except at a research level, this was Nobel laureate winning work that got the infrared spectra [sic - should be nuclear magnetic resonance] effect. And then of course people like Rex Richards took it up in this country and made great advances. But, in fact, it was quite late in time that NMR became available commercially, because we couldn’t make the instrument as a scientific piece of research – we weren’t competent to do that – but we needed a machine that worked. And, as you will know, as the years went by, it went from MHz to 40 to 60 to 100, 200, 500 and I don’t know what the limit is now, but it’s very high I’m quite sure. That was increase in technology, but we got one of the early ones, I think it was a 40 MHz, to start with.

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: Rex Richards

Duration: 1 minute, 16 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011