Willis H. Flygare

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Willis H. Flygare (July 24, 1936 – May 18, 1981) was an American physical chemist and professor at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. [1] [2][3]


Flygare was born in Jackson, Minnesota. He was the son of Willis B. and Doris H. Flygare, both of whom were of Scandinavian descent. He attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He graduated in 1958 with majors in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. He later entered graduate schoolat the University of California, Berkeley where he earned his Ph.D. in chemistry during 1961.[4][5]


Flygare became a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois in 1961 and stayed in that position until his premature death at age 44 of Lou Gehrig disease. Flygare is credited with "outstanding contributions to the understanding of molecular electronic structure".[2] He invented a highly sensitive microwave spectrometer.[2] He also developed a new method based on the molecular Zeeman effect for measurements of molecular quadrupole moments and magnetic susceptibility anisotropies.[2] He received Irving Langmuir Award in 1981.[1] Flygare was a professor of chemistry at Illinois,[2] a member of the National Academy of Sciences.[1][6] The University of Illinois called him "one of the most creative and dynamic physical chemists in the world."[2] The National Academies Press called him "a great physical chemist".[1]

Awards and Distinctions[edit]