Robert Whytlaw-Gray

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Robert Whytlaw-Gray
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
AwardsFellow of the Royal Society[1]
Scientific career

Robert H. Whytlaw-Gray, FRS[1] (1877 – 1958) was an English chemist, born in London. He studied at the University of Glasgow and University College London and was Professor of Chemistry at the University of Leeds. He and William Ramsay isolated radon and studied its physical properties (density, weight).[2]


After attending St Paul's School, Whytlaw-Gray studied at the University of Glasgow and at University College London. During his time at Glasgow, he was injured in an explosion during an attempt at diazotisation, and, after being found by Morris Travers, needed to be treated in hospital. He studied at the University of Bonn and was awarded his PhD in 1906.[2]

Academic career[edit]

Whytlaw-Gray returned to University College London and worked on the characterisation of radon with William Ramsay, with whom he succeeded in isolating it in 1910,[3] and Frederick Soddy.

From 1914 to 1923, Whytlaw-Gray taught at Eton College. In 1923 he was appointed Professor of Chemistry at the University of Leeds, a post he held until his retirement in 1945.


In 1928, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).[1]


Whytlaw-Gray died in 1958 in Welwyn.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Cox, E. G.; Hume, J. (1958). "Robert Whytlaw-Gray 1877-1958". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 4: 326. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1958.0025.
  2. ^ a b c "History - People - R W Gray". UCL. Retrieved 31 October 2009.[]
  3. ^ Trapp, Dave. "Names Constructed from other Words". Origins of the Element Names. Dave Trapp. Retrieved 31 October 2009.