Richard C. Lord

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Richard C. Lord
Born October 10, 1910
Died April 29, 1989(1989-04-29) (aged 78)
Fields Physics

Professor Richard Collins Lord (October 10, 1910 – April 29, 1989) was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He received the Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry from Johns Hopkins University in 1936. He spent two years (1936–38) as a Fellow of the United States National Research Council, first at the University of Michigan and then at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.[1][2]

In 1942, Lord came to MIT when the National Defense Research Committee called him to serve as technical aide and later as deputy chief of the Committee's Optics Division. His war work was concerned with some of the early efforts on guided missiles as well as with military applications of infrared radiation. He received the President's Certificate of Merit in 1948 from Harry S. Truman for recognition of his work in his field during World War II.

In 1946, Massachusetts Institute of Technology appointed him Director of the Spectroscopy Laboratory and in 1954, Professor of Chemistry. In collaboration with Professors George R. Harrison, and J.R. Loofbourow, Lord published the widely used text "Practical Spectroscopy" in 1948. He also served as editor in the field of optics for the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology.

Lord is considered a pioneer in the use of Infrared radiation for the study of molecular structure and is widely recognized for contributions made to the interpretation of the infrared spectra of molecules in terms of their vibrational motion, and also to our understanding of the cohesion of molecule by means of hydrogen bonding. His studies of the laser Raman spectroscopy of proteins and nucleic acids opened a new field of research.

In addition to receiving the President's Certificate of Merit in 1948, Lord was given the Award in Spectroscopy from the Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Society in 1966 and was made an honorary member of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy in 1967. He served as a member and president (1957–61) of the Commission of Molecular Spectroscopy of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and was president of the Optical Society of America (1964),[3] and received the Lippincott Medal from them in 1976.[4] He was also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as a consultant with the Central Research Department of the du Pont Company from 1948 to 1980.


  1. ^ History of MIT Spectroscopy Lab
  2. ^ Miller, Foil A. (August 1990). "Richard C. Lord". Physics Today 43 (8): 89. Bibcode:1990PhT....43h..89M. doi:10.1063/1.2810671. 
  3. ^ Past Presidents of the Optical Society of America
  4. ^ Ellis R. Lippencott Award

External links[edit]

See also[edit]