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Motivation for working on gallium hydride


Harry Emeléus was the first to make decaborane
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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Indeed, it just strikes me, incidentally, that Harry Emeléus, which I talked about in terms of my Cambridge... was actually the first person to make and demonstrate decaborane. He was working in a vacuum line, and this work was in Stock’s laboratory in Karlsruhe, and Harry’s name is not on the paper. He’s thanked as being a post-doctoral assistant, and two other senior scientists got the credit for that work. But he actually was the first to see and analyse and characterise decaborane as really the first moderately stable boron hydride.

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: Cambridge University, Karlsruhe, Harry Emeléus, Alfred Stock

Duration: 47 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011