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History - People - Bryan Topley

B Topley

Bryan Topley

Assistant Lecturer 1927- 1928
Lecturer 1928 - 1933
Reader 1933 - 1936

Topley was a physical chemist who studied with Hinshelwood. His PhD was on the kinetics of decomposition of formic acid in the gas phase. Refs.

  • HINSHELWOOD, C. N., HARTLEY, H., AND TOPLEY, B. Influence of Temperature on Two Alternative Modes of Decomposition of Formic Acid. Proc. Roy. Soc. (London) , vol. 100, A, 1922, pp. 575-581, Chem. Abs., vol.17, 1923, p. 914.
  • HINSHELWOOD, C. N., AND TOPLEY, B. Energy of Activation in Heterogeneous Gas Reactions With Relation to the Thermal Decomposition of Formic Acid Vapor. J. Chem. Soc. , vol. 123, 1923, pp. 1014-1025; Chem. Abs., vol. 17, 1923, p. 2810.

He is acknowledged as the proof-reader of the first edition of Guggenheim's "Modern Thermodynamics by the Method of Willard Gibbs".

Later on he worked with Ted Hughes and Ingold, pioneering the use of radioactive labelling to study the mechanism of organic reactions. One of the most important contributions was an experiment which explained the puzzle of the Walden inversion. Using radioactive iodide and optically pure 2-iodo octane, Hughes and Topley showed that the rate of loss of optical activity was twice the rate of iodide exchange. (E. D. Hughes, F.Juliusburger, S. Masterman, B. Topley, J. Weiss J. Chem. Soc. , 1935, 1525).

In 1935 Topley collaborated with Eduard Teller, then in the Department in transit from Germany to the US (see Donnan's page for more info on this: http://www.chem.ucl.ac.uk/resources/history/people/donnan), on a study of the thermochemistry of the addition of hydrogen to ethene. The resulting paper (E. Teller and B. Topley, J. Chem. Soc., 1935, 876) was the first to estimate the barrier to rotation in ethane.

In 1940 he published one paper with R W Lunt on the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen in electrical discharges. Topley left the Department and eventually became a Director of Albright and Wilson, the manufacturer of phosphorus in Oldbury (Birmingham).

His papers published with the Chemical Society are as follows:

  1. Chemical reaction in electric discharges. Part. IV. The negative glow reaction in hydrogen-oxygen mixtures R. Winstanley Lunt, T. G. Pearson, B. Topley, Trans. Faraday Soc., 1940, 1087-1110 DOI: 10.1039/TF9403601087
  2. Note on the vapour pressure of solid nitrous oxide H. K. Black, G. van Praagh, B. Topley, Trans. Faraday Soc., 1930, 196-197 DOI: 10.1039/TF9302600196
  3. Reaction velocity in the system Ag2CO3 Ag2O + CO2 Wilfred Devonshire Spencer, Bryan Topley, Trans. Faraday Soc., 1931, 94-102 DOI: 10.1039/TF9312700094
  4. The decomposition of nitrous oxide at low pressures upon a platinum catalyst G. Van Praagh, B. Topley, Trans. Faraday Soc., 1931, 312-322
    DOI: 10.1039/TF9312700312
  5. CXV.—The energy of activation in heterogeneous gas reactions with relation to the thermal decomposition of formic acid vapour Cyril Norman Hinshelwood, Bryan Topley, J. Chem. Soc., Trans., 1923, 1014-1025 DOI: 10.1039/CT9232301014
  6. XLVII.—The unimolecular decomposition of phosphine Cyril Norman Hinshelwood, Bryan Topley, J. Chem. Soc., Trans., 1924, 393-406 DOI: 10.1039/CT9242500393
  7. The condensed phosphates B. Topley, Q. Rev., Chem. Soc., 1949, (4),345-368 DOI: 10.1039/QR9490300345
  8. CCCXLIII.—The hydrates of manganous oxalate Norman Henry Chamberlain, John Hume, Bryan Topley, J. Chem. Soc., 1926, 2620-2623 DOI: 10.1039/JR9262902620
  9. CCCXC.—The density of calcium carbonate hexahydrate John Hume, Bryan Topley, J. Chem. Soc., 1926, 2932-2934
    DOI: 10.1039/JR9262902932
  10. 269. Heats of formation of the hydrates of manganous oxalate Merwyn Leslie Smith, Bryan Topley, J. Chem. Soc., 1932, 1977-1979 DOI: 10.1039/JR9320001977
  11. 383. Catalysis of an interface reaction by adsorbed molecules Bryan Topley, Mervyn L. Smith, J. Chem. Soc., 1934, 1754-1755
    DOI: 10.1039/JR9340001754
  12. 311. Stability against interchange of the iodine atoms in diphenyliodonium iodide F. Juliusburger, B. Topley, J. Weiss, J. Chem. Soc., 1935, 1295-1296 DOI: 10.1039/JR9350001295
  13. 250. Aliphatic substitution and the Walden inversion. Part II E. D. Hughes, F. Juliusburger, A. D. Scott, B. Topley, J. Weiss, J. Chem. Soc., 1936, 1173-1175 DOI: 10.1039/JR9360001173
  14. 210. Isotope exchange between hydrogen bromide and bromine Bryan Topley, Joseph Weiss, J. Chem. Soc., 1936, 912a-912a
    DOI: 10.1039/JR936000912a
  15. 200. On the vibration frequencies of ethylene and ethane Eduard Teller, Bryan Topley, J. Chem. Soc., 1935, 885-889
    DOI: 10.1039/JR9350000885
  16. 362. Aliphatic substitution and the Walden inversion. Part I E. D. Hughes, F. Juliusburger, S. Masterman, B. Topley, J. Weiss, J. Chem. Soc., 1935, 1525-1529 DOI: 10.1039/JR9350001525
  17. 69. Kinetics of salt-hydrate dissociations: MnC2O4,2H2O = MnC2O4+ 2H2O Bryan Topley, Mervyn L. Smith, J. Chem. Soc., 1935, 321-325
    DOI: 10.1039/JR9350000321
  18. 212. Structure of benzene. Part II. Direct introduction of deuterium into benzene and the physical properties of hexadeuterobenzene C. K. Ingold, C. G. Raisin, C. L. Wilson, C. R. Bailey, B. Topley, J. Chem. Soc., 1936, 915-925 DOI: 10.1039/JR9360000915
  19. CCCLIV.—Chemical kinetics of the system Ag2CO3 Ag2O + CO2 Wilfred Devonshire Spencer, Bryan Topley, J. Chem. Soc., 1929, 2633-2650 DOI: 10.1039/JR9290002633
  20. 199. On the equilibrium and the heat of the reaction C2H4+ H2= C2H6 Eduard Teller, Bryan Topley, J. Chem. Soc., 1935, 876-885 DOI: 10.1039/JR9350000876

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