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Sir William Ramsay

Sir William Ramsay discovered the element Neon.

Caption: Sir William Ramsay

Early Life

Sir William Ramsay (October 2, 1852 - July 23, 1916) was born in a town called Glascow, Scotland. CITATION REQUIRED His uncle was a geologist, Sir Andrew Ramsay. He was born from a family that was known for their scientific attainment. <ref> http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ewb_13/ewb_13_05348.html </ref> He was the only child born, and at an early age decided that he wanted to become a chemist. <ref> http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/490808/Sir-William-Ramsay </ref>

Up until 1870, William studied in his home town followed by working in Fittig's laboratory at Tübingen until 1872. He also got his doctorate here. While he was working there, he developed his thesis on orthotoluic acid, and earned the degree of doctor of philosophy. <ref> http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1904/ramsay-bio.html </ref>

Scientific Career

William's first work was in the field of organic chemistry. When he returned to Great Britain, he went to the University of Bristol (Where in 1881, he became principal), and then to University College of London, where he was praised for the inventiveness and scrupulousness of the techniques of his experiments. <ref> http://chemicalheritage.org/classroom/chemach/periodic/ramsay.html </ref> In his early experiments, he learned that Alkaloids are related to pyridine. <ref> http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1E1-Ramsay-W.html </ref> In 1879, he studied Physical Chemistry, and began studying the molecular volumes of elements at their boiling points. <ref> http://www.biography.com/articles/Sir-William-Ramsay-9451349 </ref>

Upon doing some research with inert gases in the atmosphere, he discovered the element helium. <ref> http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0841089.html </ref> With the help of Lord Rayleigh, he discovered the element Argon. They called it Argon, coming from the Greek meaning "lazy", due to it being unreactive. <ref> http://www.chemistryexplained.com/Pr-Ro/Ramsay-William.html </ref> With the help of Morris William Travers, Ramsay discovered three new gases existing in the atmosphere: neon, krypton and xenon. <ref> http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Sir_William_Ramsay </ref>

Later Life

In 1888, he became a fellow of the Royal Society. In 1902, he was knighted, becoming Sir William Ramsay. In 1904, he won the Nobel Prize. After a successful scientific career, he eventually retired in 1912 to Hazelwood, in Buckinghamshire. There, he built a small laboratory. On July 23, 1916, he died. <ref> http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ewb_13/ewb_13_05348.html </ref>


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