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Norrish, Ronald George Wreyford, 1897-1978 (physical chemist)



  • Existence: 1897 - 1978


Ronald George Wreyford Norrish (1897-1978) was born in Cambridge and educated at the Perse School, 1908-1915, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge where he read for the Natural Sciences Tripos, 1919-1921, specialising in chemistry for Part II. During the First World War he saw service in the Royal Field Artillery in Ireland and France and spent six months as a prisoner of war in Germany. In 1921 he began his research career in Cambridge under E.K. Rideal and remained there for the rest of his career. He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1924 and elected to a Research Fellowship at Emmanuel College the same year. He became University Demonstrator in Physical Chemistry in 1926 and H.O. Jones Lecturer in Physical Chemistry two years later. He was Professor of Physical Chemistry, 1937-1965. His research was mainly on various aspects of photochemistry. He was elected FRS in 1936 (Davy Medal 1958, Bakerian Lecture 1966) and in 1967 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (with Manfred Eigen and George Porter) for their studies of extremely fast chemical reactions, effected by disturbing the equilibrium by means of very short pulses of energy.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Ronald Norrish: Papers and Correspondence

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8370
Scope and Contents This small group of papers represents all that survives of the manuscript records of this distinguished chemist and Nobel Prize winner. It consists of correspondence received by Dainton and Thrush while they were working on the Royal Society memoir of Norrish, a few school and undergraduate diaries and notebooks, and some rather miscellaneous notes, drafts and correspondence. These include a complete draft for a very early (1922) unpublished paper 'Colour and Atomic Constitution ...' and...
Dates: 1912-1981 (circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (