Sir William Ramsay, Scottish chemist

Sir William Ramsay, Scottish chemist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sir William Ramsay. Illustration of the Scottish chemist Sir William Ramsey (1852-1916), presenting a lecture. Ramsay studied in Germany under Bunsen, obtaining his PhD in 1873. After years of teaching, he started research into nitrogen in 1892. In 1894 Ramsay isolated a new gas from an air-derived nitrogen sample, and identified it using a spectroscope. It was a totally inert element which he called argon. Over the next years he isolated and identified helium, neon, krypton and xenon. For this work, Ramsay was knighted in 1902 and won the 1904 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Illustration taken from the magazine Vanity Fair in the 1890s.

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Keywords: 1904, argon, chemistry, discoverer, krypton, neon, nobel laureate, nobel prize, noble gases, portraits, ramsay, recipient, surname r, william, winner, xenon

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