W. Albert Noyes Jr.

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William Albert Noyes, Jr.
BornApril 18, 1898
DiedNovember 25, 1980(1980-11-25) (aged 82)
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materGrinnell College
University of Paris
Known forPhotochemistry
AwardsPriestley Medal (1954)
Willard Gibbs Award (1956)
Scientific career
FieldsChemistry
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
University of Chicago
Brown University
University of Rochester
University of Texas at Austin
Doctoral advisorHenry Le Chatelier

William Albert Noyes Jr. (April 18, 1898 – November 25, 1980), commonly known as W. Albert Noyes Jr., was an American chemist known for his contributions to photochemistry. During World War II, he was a leader in U.S. defense research efforts. He chaired the chemistry department at the University of Rochester, edited several important chemistry journals, and throughout his career was a prominent voice for international scientific cooperation. He was the son of the renowned chemist William A. Noyes; they became the first father-son pair to win the Priestley Medal, the highest honor given by the American Chemical Society.

Early life[edit]

William Albert Noyes Jr. was born on April 18, 1898, in Terre Haute, Indiana, the son of American chemist William A. Noyes, who was then a professor at the Rose Polytechnic Institute. When his father was offered a position at the National Bureau of Standards, the family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where Noyes often accompanied his father to his laboratory on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. There, the young Noyes met prominent scientists and was introduced to chemistry. In 1907, when his father was offered a faculty position at the University of Illinois, Noyes moved to Urbana, Illinois, where he was raised.[1]

Noyes enrolled at Grinnell College in 1914, but enlisted in the military in 1917, after the United States entered World War I. He went to France, where he served as an interpreter and radio operator.[2] Grinnell College awarded him a bachelor's degree when his military enlistment ended in 1919. He then decided to enroll at the University of Paris (Sorbonne), where he studied in the lab of Henry Le Chatelier and earned his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1920.[3]

Career[edit]

Noyes began his scientific and academic career at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a teaching fellow under Joel Henry Hildebrand. In 1921, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he remained for seven years.[4] In 1925, he participated in a conference of the Faraday Society in Oxford, which has been called "the most important photochemistry meeting ever held." There, he delivered a paper called "The Formation of Polar Compounds by Photochemical Reactions."[5] In 1929, he joined the faculty of Brown University, where he continued to build a reputation as a leading expert in photochemistry. During this period, he collaborated with Philip Leighton of Stanford University to write an influential textbook, The Photochemistry of Gases, which appeared in 1941.[6]

In 1938, Noyes accepted an offer to join the University of Rochester as chair of the chemistry department. By 1940, he became involved in efforts to help the United States prepare for its entry into World War II by meeting regularly with the National Defense Research Committee and various universities involved in defense research. After the United States entered the war, Noyes was named head of the Chemical Warfare and Smoke Division of the newly formed Office of Scientific Research and Development.[7] Throughout the war, he continued to teach at Rochester while conducting defense research, which required frequent travel to England and elsewhere. He also served as an editor of Chemical Reviews, a journal his father founded.[8] After the war ended, he returned to Rochester full time, where he was the Charles Frederick Houghton Professor of Chemistry and remained chair of the chemistry department.[9] In 1947, he served a term as president of the American Chemical Society.[10] At the same time, he was instrumental in promoting international scientific cooperation, chiefly through his involvement in the formation of UNESCO.[11][12] He was appointed dean of graduate studies at Rochester in 1952 and then acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1956.[13] He also served as the editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society from 1950 to 1962 and the Journal of Physical Chemistry from 1952 to 1964.[14]

In 1963, Noyes joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, where he continued to teach and conduct research until his retirement in 1973.[15]

Family[edit]

Noyes's father was the American chemist William Noyes and his mother was Flora Collier Noyes. His two younger half-brothers were Richard (1919 – 1997) and Pierre (1923 - 2016); both were chemists.

Honors[edit]

Noyes earned numerous honors throughout his career. These include:

By winning the Priestley Medal, Noyes and his father became the first father-son pair to win that prestigious award. His father won it in 1935.[28]

In addition, the University of Rochester has a distinguished lecture series named in Noyes' honor.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Academy of Sciences (1994). "William Albert Noyes, Jr.". Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 64. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. p. 342. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  2. ^ National Academy of Sciences (1994). "William Albert Noyes, Jr.". Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 64. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. pp. 343–344. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  3. ^ "1935: William Albert Noyes (1857–1941) and 1954: W. Albert Noyes Jr. (1898–1980)". pubsapp.acs.org. American Chemical Society. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  4. ^ National Academy of Sciences (1994). "William Albert Noyes, Jr.". Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 64. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. p. 344. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  5. ^ Volman, David. "One Hundred Years of Photochemistry" (PDF). chemistry.as.miami.edu. University of Miami. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  6. ^ Lind, S.C. (1942). "New Books". Journal of Physical Chemistry. 46 (8): 1012. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  7. ^ National Academy of Sciences (1994). "William Albert Noyes, Jr.". Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 64. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. pp. 345–346. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  8. ^ National Academy of Sciences (1994). "William Albert Noyes, Jr.". Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 64. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. p. 346. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  9. ^ Pieterse, Janice Bullard (2014). "A Dynamic Attitude". Rochester Review. 76 (6). Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  10. ^ "ACS Presidents, A Chronological List". acs.org. American Chemical Society. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  11. ^ Noyes, W. Albert (1947). "The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 91 (1): 133–136. ISSN 0003-049X.
  12. ^ Noyes, Albert (1947-03-01). "UNESCO Holds First General Session in Paris". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 3 (3): 92–93. ISSN 0096-3402.
  13. ^ National Academy of Sciences (1994). "William Albert Noyes, Jr.". Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 64. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. p. 346. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  14. ^ National Academy of Sciences (1994). "William Albert Noyes, Jr.". Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 64. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. p. 347. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  15. ^ National Academy of Sciences (1994). "William Albert Noyes, Jr.". Biographical Memoirs, Vol. 64. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. p. 347. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  16. ^ "William Albert Noyes". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  17. ^ "W. Albert Noyes, Jr". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  18. ^ "Past Honorary Degrees | Grinnell College". www.grinnell.edu. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  19. ^ "Encyclopedia Brunoniana | American Philosophical Society". www.brown.edu. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  20. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients Archive". uri.edu. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  21. ^ Chemical & Engineering News, 86(14), April 7, 2008, retrieved February 1, 2010.
  22. ^ "Willard Gibbs Award". chicagoacs.org. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  23. ^ "William Albert Noyes, Jr.: University Honors and Awards: Indiana University". University Honors & Awards. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  24. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients – Illinois Commencement". Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  25. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients - University of Rochester Office of the Provost". rochester.edu. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  26. ^ "Charles Lathrop Parsons Award". American Chemical Society. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  27. ^ "Les membres du passé dont le nom commence par N | Liste des membres depuis la création de l'Académie des sciences | Membres | Nous connaître". www.academie-sciences.fr. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  28. ^ "1935: William Albert Noyes (1857–1941) and 1954: W. Albert Noyes Jr. (1898–1980)". pubsapp.acs.org. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  29. ^ "Giving". www.sas.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2022-04-23.

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