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William Ramsay

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William Ramsay

William Ramsay (Born::October 2 1852Born::July 23 1916) was born in the city of Glasgow, Scotland. He had a lovely wife whom he had married in 1881 named Margaret Buchanan. His father was a civil engineer, and he had a strong body with good mechanical ability and thinking. As a Scottish chemist, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904. The reasoning for his winning of this award was because he was the first to discover the noble gases. He was a student that had attended the University of Glasgow. After he was done at that college, he went on and studied in Germany at the University of Tübingen. In 1879, after studying in Germany, he went back to his previous university and became the Professor of Chemistry at Bristol, and in that same year he became the Principal of Bristol University. In 1887 he had moved on to the University College of London; this is where most of the exciting discoveries took place. He also had Alexander Williamson to work with, whom he put in the chair of Chemistry. Ramsay had actually published several papers from 1885-1890. These papers were mostly concentrated on the oxides of nitrogen to develop the skills that he would need for his subsequent work.

One evening Ramsay decided to go listen to a lecture that was given by Lord Rayleigh. It was the night of April 19th, 1894. The lecture consisted of the discrepancy between nitrogen's density that is made by chemical synthesis and nitrogen that's isolated from the air by removing the other components that are know. After the lecture, Ramsay and Rayleigh decided to keep going with this subject, and follow up on it. When August came around, Ramsay told Rayleigh that he managed to isolate an abundant component of air, which was previously unknown, that didn't appear to consist of any chemical reactivity. He decided to name the gas "argon". After discovering argon, he also discovered krypton, neon, and xenon over the years. And then there was helium that he had observed, but had not been found on earth. Then in 1910, radon was also characterized and isolated.