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History - People - Morris Travers

Morris Travers

Morris Travers

Demonstrator 1894 - 1899
Assistant Professor 1899 - 1904

Morris Travers was born in Stroud in Gloucestershire. He was an undergraduate at UCL and stayed on to do research in the Department. Travers was Ramsay 's right hand man during the exciting years of the discovery of the noble gases and subsequently worked on the liquefaction of gases. He later struggled, and failed, alongside Dewar and Jaquerod, to liquefy helium, an achievement that, together with the discovery of superconductivity, won Kammerlingh Onnes the Nobel Prize in 1911.

Travers' book with the catchy title "The Experimental Study of Gases - An Account of the Experimental Methods Involved in the Determination of the Properties of Gases, and of the More Important Researches Connected with the Subject." was published in 1901. It gives fascinating insights into the incredible difficulty of the work and contains splendid illustrations of apparatus.

In 1904 Travers was appointed Professor of Chemistry at University College Bristol (which had previously been held by his mentor, Ramsay). From 1907 to 1914 he was Director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. In 1927 he became Honorary Professor, Fellow and Nash Lecturer in Chemistry at Bristol. He became President of the Faraday Society in 1936, and in 1937 he retired from Bristol University.

His biography of Ramsay was published in 1956. It is traditional for Ramsay Memorial Fellows to be issued with a copy of this biography.

UCL holds an archive of his papers and writings, including an unpublished typescript autobiography.

Travers' left his Ph.D. gown to the College. It is still in a box in our archives with a small note which says that "the silk needs renewing".

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This page last modified 20 September, 2010

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