William Lipscomb facts for kids
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William N. Lipscomb, Jr.
December 9, 1919|
Cleveland, Ohio, US
|Died||April 14, 2011
|Alma mater||University of Kentucky
California Institute of Technology
|Awards||Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1976)|
|Fields||Nuclear magnetic resonance
|Institutions||University of Minnesota
|Doctoral advisor||Linus Pauling|
|Doctoral students||Roald Hoffmann
Russell M. Pitzer
Thomas A. Steitz
Don C. Wiley
|Other notable students||Michael Rossmann
Raymond C. Stevens
William Nunn Lipscomb, Jr. (December 9, 1919– April 14, 2011) was a Nobel Prize-winning American inorganic and organic chemist. He worked in nuclear magnetic resonance, theoretical chemistry, boron chemistry, and biochemistry.
Lipscomb was born in Cleveland, Ohio. His family moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 1920.He lived there until he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at the University of Kentucky in 1941. Then he earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1946.
Lipscomb was one of the first people to use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to study chemical structures. He learned out how to look at NMR data to find what atoms are connected together in a molecule. This is called "chemical shift".
Lipscomb studied molecules. These molecules included boron atoms. Lipscomb used this work to learn basic ideas about how atoms form chemical bonds. Lipscomb and his students created many important ideas in the field of theoretical chemistry. His work on boron compounds won a Nobel Prize in 1976. Three of his students went on to also win separate Nobel Prizes in Chemistry.
Lipscomb's later research was on the atomic structure of proteins. He studied how enzymes work. His group used x-ray diffraction to measure the three-dimensional structure of these proteins. He calculated the exact location of every single atom in these large molecules. Lipscomb then studied these details to learn how the molecules work in biological systems.
Carboxypeptidase A was the first protein structure from Lipscomb's group.
Awards and Honors
- Guggenheim Fellow, 1954
- Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1960.
- Member of National Academy of Sciences, (1961)
- Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, (1976)
- Nobel Prize in Chemistry, (1976)
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