George Porter, British physical chemist

George Porter, British physical chemist

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Caption: George Porter. Portrait of Baron George Porter (born 1920), British physical chemist. Porter studied rapid reactions in gases, particularly those which require light (photochemical reac- tions). In the 1940s he and Norrish developed the flash photolysis technique, in which a flash of intense light begins a reaction. The wavelengths of light absorbed from a second flash, which follows soon after the first, reveal which unstable chemicals are formed as intermediate stages in the reaction. A successful populariser of science, he became director of the Royal Institution in 1966. He shared the 1967 Nobel Chemistry Prize. Photographed in 1995.

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