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History - People - Sir William Ramsay

Sir William Ramsay

Sir William Ramsay
(1852 - 1916)

Head of Department : 1887 - 1913

Ramsay studied for an Arts degree at Glasgow University. After working in laboratories both there and on the Continent, he became Professor of Chemistry at the new Bristol University for seven years before joining UCL in 1887. Ramsay's most important contribution to science was the discovery of argon and the other noble gases for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1904.

He can also be seen standing in his lab:


After his death in 1916, the Ramsay Memorial Fellowships were endowed by public subscription to enable outstanding young scholars to carry out research in chemistry in the UK. Curiously, Ramsay Fellows are expected to give one lecture during their tenure at a University within the city of Glasgow, but not at UCL. Go figure!

Ramsay was the subject of a biography by his friend and colleague, Maurice Travers .

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This page last modified 20 September, 2010

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