Sir George Porter


Sir George Porter
(1920 - 2002)

English chemist, corecipient with fellow Englishman Ronald George Wreyford Norrish and Manfred Eigen of West Germany of the 1967 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. All three were honoured for their studies in flash photolysis, a technique for observing the intermediate stages of very fast chemical reactions.
George Porter was born in Yorkshire, England, attended Leeds University, then served as a radar officer during WW II. After undergraduate work at the University of Leeds, Porter earned his doctorate at the University of Cambridge under Norrish in 1949. He continued on there, developing the technique of flash photolysis with Norrish. In this technique, a gas or liquid in equilibrium is illuminated with an ultra-short burst of light that causes photochemical reactions in the substance. The extremely short-lived intermediate products of these reactions are illuminated by a second burst of light that enables an absorption spectrum to be taken of the reaction products before the gas has returned to a state of equilibrium. Porter specifically studied the equilibrium of chlorine atoms and molecules. In 1955 he joined the faculty of chemistry at the University of Sheffield, where he taught until 1966, becoming in that year director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain and Fullerian professor of chemistry. Aside from his research, Porter excels as a lecturer, with the ability to present complex subjects with great clarity and an entertaining manner even to non-scientists. In the 1960s his BBC broadcasts on "The Laws of Disorder" were very popular. Porter was knighted in 1972.


Main Page | About Us | All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Timeline of Nobel Prize Winners is not affiliated with The Nobel Foundation. External sites are not endorsed or supported by http://www.nobel-winners.com/ Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved.