SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sir George Porter, British physical chemist (born 1920). In World War II Porter worked with radar as a naval officer. From 1945 he worked in Cambridge with R.G.W. Norrish on the detection and study of the short-lived radical intermediates involved in photochemical gas reactions. Porter developed the idea of using a short high-energy flash to break up the gas to form radicals and excited molecules. A second flash, after a brief delay, served to give a spectrum of the contents of the reaction tube so that the radicals could be detected and their lifetimes calculated. In 1966 he became Director of the Royal Institution; he shared the Nobel Prize in 1967 with Norrish and M. Eigen.
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