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Theoretical chemistry with Lennard-Jones


Sir John Lennard-Jones at Cambridge
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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A second one was Sir John Lennard-Jones who had come from Bristol. He was the first theoretical professor of chemistry in the world or the professor of theoretical chemistry. He was in the same department as Emeléus, and the head of that department was Alexander Todd, Sir Alex Todd, later Lord Todd. And the reason for that was that there were two camps of chemistry at this time in Cambridge, now happily not the case. But in those days there was both an intellectual, and a metaphorical, and a substantial, brick wall between physical chemistry, on the one hand, with Ronald Norrish, and organic chemistry, inorganic, and theoretical chemistry, on the other.

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: University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, John Lennard-Jones, Harry Emeléus, Alexander Todd, Ronald Norrish

Duration: 1 minute, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011