George Porter

George Porter, Baron Porter of Luddenham, OM, Kt, PRS, FRSE (6 December 1920 – 31 August 2002) was a British chemist.[4] He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1967.

The Lord Porter of Luddenham
George Porter Nobel
George Porter

6 December 1920
Died31 August 2002 (aged 81)
Alma mater
Known forFlash Photolysis
Scientific career
ThesisThe study of free radicals produced by photochemical means (1949)
Doctoral advisorRonald Norrish
Doctoral studentsJames Robert Durrant[3]

Education and early life

Porter was born in Stainforth, near Thorne, South Yorkshire. He was educated at Thorne Grammar School,[5] then won a scholarship to the University of Leeds and gained his first degree in chemistry. He was awarded a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1949 for research investigating free radicals produced by photochemical means.[6]

Career and research

Porter served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War. Porter then went on to do research at the University of Cambridge supervised by Ronald George Wreyford Norrish where he began the work that ultimately led to them becoming Nobel Laureates.

His original research in developing the technique of Flash photolysis to obtain information on short-lived molecular species provided the first evidence of free Radicals. His later research utilised the technique to study the minutiae of the Light-dependent reactions of Photosynthesis, with particular regard to possible applications to a Hydrogen economy, of which he was a strong advocate.

He was Assistant Director of the British Rayon Research Association from 1953–4, where he studied the phototendering of dyed cellulose fabrics in sunlight.[7]

Porter became a professor in the Chemistry department at the University of Sheffield in 1954-55. It was here he started his work on Flash Photolysis with equipment designed and made in the departmental workshop. During this tenure he also took part in a television programme describing his work. This was in the "Eye on Research" series. Porter became Fullerian Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Royal Institution in 1966. During his directorship of the Royal Institution, Porter was instrumental in the setting up of Applied Photophysics, a company created to supply instrumentation based on his group's work. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1967 along with Manfred Eigen and Ronald George Wreyford Norrish.[8] In the same year he became a Visiting Professor at University College London.[8]

Porter was a major contributor to the Public Understanding of science. He became president of the British Association in 1985 and was the founding Chair of the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS). He gave the Romanes Lecture, entitled "Science and the human purpose", at the University of Oxford in 1978; and in 1988 he gave the Dimbleby Lecture, "Knowledge itself is power". From 1990 to 1993 he gave the Gresham lectures in astronomy.

Awards and honours

Porter was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1960[1] and served as President of the Royal Society from 1985–1990. He was also awarded the Davy Medal in 1971, the Rumford Medal in 1978, the Ellison-Cliffe Medal in 1991 and the Copley Medal in 1992.

Porter also received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University in 1971.[9]

He was knighted in 1972, appointed to the Order of Merit in 1989,[10] and was made a life peer as Baron Porter of Luddenham, of Luddenham in the County of Kent, in 1990. In 1995, he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws) from the University of Bath.[11]

In 1976 he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on The Natural History of a Sunbeam.[12]

Porter served as Chancellor of the University of Leicester between 1984 and 1995. In 2001, the university's chemistry building was named the George Porter Building in his honour.


In 1949 he married Stella Jean Brooke.


  • Chemistry for the Modern World (1962)
  • Chemistry in Microtime (1996)


  1. ^ a b Fleming, G. R.; Phillips, D. (2004). "George Porter KT OM, Lord Porter of Luddenham. 6 December 1920 - 31 August 2002: Elected F.R.S. 1960". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 50 (0): 257–283. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2004.0017. ISSN 0080-4606.
  2. ^ Weisskopf, V. F.; Eyring, H.; Eyring, E. M. (1967). "1. Physics". Science. 158 (3802): 745–748. Bibcode:1967Sci...158..745W. doi:10.1126/science.158.3802.745. PMID 4860395.
  3. ^ Durrant, James Robert (1991). Transient absorption spectroscopy of photosystem two. (PhD thesis). Imperial College London. hdl:10044/1/11455. OCLC 855696059. EThOS Free to read
  4. ^ Phillips, David (2002). "Obituary: George Porter (1920–2002)". Nature. 419 (6907): 578. Bibcode:2002Natur.419..578P. doi:10.1038/419578a. PMID 12374966.
  5. ^ "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/77183.
  6. ^ Porter, George (1949). The study of free radicals produced by photochemical means (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge.
  7. ^ David Phillips The Biography of George Porter Archived 17 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b "George Porter – Biography". Nobel Media. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh: Honorary Graduates". Retrieved 2016-04-07.
  10. ^ "BBC NEWS Science/Nature Obituary: Lord Porter". BBC Online. BBC News. 2 September 2002. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". University of Bath. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  12. ^ "George Porter – Famous Experiments", Ri Channel video, 6 December 1985

External links

Cultural offices
Preceded by
William Lawrence Bragg
Director of the Royal Institution
Succeeded by
John Meurig Thomas
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Alan Hodgkin
Chancellor of the University of Leicester
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Atiyah
7 Walkers

7 Walkers was an American rock band featuring former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, guitarist Papa Mali, multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard and bassist George Porter Jr.

Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Emmanuel College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college was founded in 1584 by Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer to Elizabeth I.In every year from 1998 until 2016 Emmanuel was amongst the top five colleges in the Tompkins Table, which ranks colleges according to end-of-year examination results. Emmanuel topped the table five times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010) and placed second six times (2001, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012). Its mean score for 1997 - 2018 inclusive places it as the second highest ranking college.

Three members of Emmanuel College have received a Nobel Prize: Ronald Norrish, George Porter, and Frederick Hopkins.

Flash photolysis

Flash photolysis is a pump-probe laboratory technique, in which a sample is firstly excited by a strong pulse (called pump pulse) of light from a laser of nanosecond, picosecond, or femtosecond pulse width or by a short-pulse light source such as a flash lamp. This first strong pulse starts a chemical reaction or leads to an increased population for energy levels other than the ground state within a sample of atoms or molecules. Typically the absorption of light by the sample is recorded within short time intervals (by a so-called test pulses) to monitor relaxation or reaction processes initiated by the pump pulse.

Flash photolysis was developed shortly after World War II as a result of the military's attempts to build cameras fast enough to photograph missiles in flight. The technique was developed in 1949 by Manfred Eigen, Ronald George Wreyford Norrish and George Porter, who won the 1967 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this invention. Over the next 40 years the technique became more powerful and sophisticated due to developments in optics and lasers. Also, the interest in this method grew considerably as the practical applications expanded from chemistry to areas such as biology, materials science, and environmental sciences. Today flash photolysis facilities are extensively used by researchers to study light-induced processes in organic molecules, polymers, nanoparticles, semiconductors, photosynthesis in plants, signaling, and light-induced conformational changes in biological systems.

George Porter (athlete)

George Porter (born December 19, 1966) is a retired American hurdler. While running for Cabrillo High School in Lompoc, California, he set the NFHS (United States High School) record in the 300 meters intermediate hurdles at 35.32 on May 24, 1985, in the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet (a qualifying meet for the CIF California State Meet). Porter's record in the hurdles lasted until the State Meet in 2007, when Jeshua Anderson of Taft High School improved the record by .04 of a second. Reggie Wyatt has since improved the record again to 35.02, set at the same meet in 2009. Porter went on to win the State Meet with a time of 35.50.

Porter's key to success was his ability to run 13 steps between hurdles, the same trait as Olympic champion Edwin Moses. Moses could run 13 steps between all ten hurdles of the 400 metres hurdles race, while Porter was able to do it for six as a junior, adding the last two hurdles the high school race his senior year.Porter continued hurdling in college, running for the University of Southern California, but did not perform as well. He managed to run 49.19, number 5 on USC's all time list. Porter entered the American top ten in the 400 hurdles twice, in 1989 and 1990.

George Porter (cricketer)

George Porter (3 December 1861 – 15 July 1908) was an English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Derbyshire between 1881 and 1896.

Porter was born at Kilburn, Derbyshire, the son of John Porter a brickyard worker, and his wife Sarah Brentnall and was apprenticed to his uncle as a chimney sweep. He spent his winters as a sweep, but being a capable cricketer spent the summers as a professional cricketer. His first recorded cricket match was with the Northwood Club, West Cowes, Isle of Wight in 1880.

In 1881 Porter was living at Chapel Street, Spondon, Derbyshire and was with the South Derbyshire Club. Also in the 1881 season he played one match for Derbyshire against Lancashire in which he took a wicket in the first innings, but did not play for the club again until the 1888 season. In the interim he played for Birkenhead Park in 1882, for Wigan in 1883 and 1884, for Lowerhouse in 1885, for Grimsby in 1886 and for Longsight, Manchester from 1887 to 1889. In 1888 he played three games for Derbyshire who were by then outside the County Championship, and one game in the 1889 season. From the 1890 season he played regularly for Derbyshire and from 1890 to 1892 for Broughton, Salford.In the 1894 season, Derbyshire matches again qualified as first-class, and Porter took 5–14 against Leicestershire. In the 1895 season the club competed in the County Championship and Porter had six 5 wicket innings. Against Hampshire he achieved 7–52 in the first innings and 7–49 in the second inning in an innings victory. He took 5–67 against Leicestershire, 5–80 against Essex, 5–55 against Lancashire and 5–67 against Surrey. He also achieved a top score of 93 against Nottinghamshire after being moved up the batting order in a follow-on for a drawn match. Derbyshire ended the season fifth in the points table. In the 1896 season Porter took 5–50 against MCC, but during the season he had to undergo surgery after straining himself, bringing his first-class career to an end.Porter was a right-arm fast-medium bowler and took 130 first-class wickets at an average of 21.50 and a best performance of 7 for 49. He was a right-hand batsman and played 56 innings in 37 first-class matches with a top score of 93 and an average of 9.41.Porter played for Lowerhouse again in 1897. He was then an umpire in first-class matches between 1899 and 1903.

Porter died at Spondon, Derbyshire at the age of 45.

Porter married Elizabeth Ann Mayne who was born at West Cowes, Isle of Wight in 1880.

George Porter (disambiguation)

George Porter (1920–2002) was a British chemist and Nobel prize winner

George Porter may also refer to:

George Bryan Porter (1791–1834), U.S. politician

George Richardson Porter (1792–1852), British statistician

George Porter (architect) (died 1856), British architect

Sir George Porter, 1st Baronet (1822–1895), British surgeon, see Porter baronets

George Porter (cricketer) (1861–1908), English cricketer

George Porter (politician) (1884–1973), British Labour MP for Leeds Central, 1945–1955

Barry Porter (George Barrington Porter, 1939–1996), British politician

George Porter Jr. (born 1947), American musician

George Porter (footballer) (born 1992), English professional footballer

George Porter (athlete) (born 1966), American athlete

George Porter (rugby union) (born 1989), English rugby union player

George Porter (royalist) (1622–1683), royalist army officer of the First English Civil War

George Porter (conspirator) (1659–1728), English soldier and conspirator

George Porter (Upper Canada), early settler in Upper Canada, said to have constructed the first house in York, expanded into Berkeley House, York, Upper Canada

George Porter (mariner) (1786–1872), mariner and early pioneer of South Australia

George Porter (footballer)

George Edwards Porter (born 27 June 1992) is an English professional footballer who plays as either a winger or a striker for National League club Bromley.

George Porter (politician)

George Porter (29 July 1884 – 25 September 1973) was a British Labour Party politician. He was the first Labour candidate to contest Liverpool Fairfield and was the first president of the Liverpool Fairfield Divisional Labour Party. He was first elected as Member of Parliament for Leeds Central at the 1945 general election, and re-elected in 1950 and 1951. He did not stand in the 1955 general election, when his constituency was abolished.

Prior to his election, Porter had worked as a joiner and builder and as labour supply inspector. He was also President of Liverpool Trades Council, a councillor in Huyton and a justice of the peace. In parliament he was particularly interesting in questions relating to housing and labour, and was a member of parliamentary groups on housing and town planning. Porter had three children. He was a member of the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers and Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows.

George Porter (royalist)

George Porter (1622?–1683) was a royalist army officer of the First English Civil War.

George Porter (rugby union)

George Porter (born 15 May 1989) is an English rugby union player for Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership. He has played for England U18.He plays as a prop.

George joined Plymouth Albion in 2009 and left in 2011, when he joined the Worcester Warriors.

George Porter Jr.

George Joseph Porter Jr. (born December 26, 1947) is an American musician, best known as the bassist and singer of The Meters. Along with Art Neville, Porter formed the group in the mid 1960s and came to be recognized as one of the progenitors of funk. The Meters disbanded in 1977, but reformed in 1989. Today the original group still plays the occasional reunion but the Funky Meters, of which Porter and Neville are members, most prominently keeps the spirit alive.Porter has his own group the Runnin' Pardners, and also other projects such as The Trio with Johnny Vidacovich, New Orleans Social Club, Deep Fried, and Porter Batiste Stoltz. He has been performing and recording with wide range of artists including Soul Rebels Brass Band, Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Robbie Robertson, Willy DeVille, Robert Palmer, Patti Labelle, Jimmy Buffett, David Byrne, Johnny Adams, Harry Connick Jr., Earl King, Warren Haynes, Tori Amos, and Snooks Eaglin among many others.Porter joined John Scofield's Piety Street Band in 2008 to tour and to record. Jon Cleary and Ricky Fataar are also members of this band. In 2010, he replaced Reed Mathis in Bill Kreutzmann's newest band, 7 Walkers. Also in 2010 he performed with Runnin' Pardner at New Orleans' Voodoo Experience.

Mitch and Amy

Mitch and Amy is a children's novel by Beverly Cleary, illustrated by George Porter, Bob Marstall, Alan Tiegreen, and Tracy Dockray. It has been translated into Bulgarian and published as an audiobook narrated by Kathleen McInerney.

The story follows the escapades of the fraternal Huff twins, Mitch and Amy, in Berkeley, California. Although the book was written in the late 1960s, the book stays true to Cleary's penchant for making the stories relevant regardless of the time period.

Mitch and Amy is one of the few Cleary books that is not part of a series or a progression, like the Ramona Quimby series. It is also one of the few Cleary books that is set outside Portland, Oregon.

Mitch and Amy was first published in 1967.

Northwest Passage Territorial Park

The Northwest Passage Territorial Park is located at Gjoa Haven, on King William Island, Kitikmeot Region, Nunavut, Canada. The park consists of six areas that show in part the history of the exploration of the Northwest Passage and the first successful passage by Roald Amundsen in the Gjøa.

The park begins at the George Porter Hamlet Centre in Gjoa Haven where there is a museum. The centre contains a replica of the Gjøa, along with examples of traditional Inuit tools and clothing and a history of the Netsilik Inuit

The next site is a shelter where Amundsen made observations on the North Magnetic Pole, which was about 90 km (56 mi) north of Gjoa Haven. This site is followed by another shelter that Amundsen used to house his instruments. This includes a marble slab that he used to support his instruments along with a cairn dedicated to George Von Neumayer, Amundsen's teacher.

The next area is Gjoa Haven proper. Amundsen entered "the finest little harbor in the world" on 9 September 1903 and spent the winter there. Along with the observations, he also spent time learning survival skills from the local Inuit who called the area Uqsuqtuuq (lots of blubber). The fifth area is a grave site that is believed to be one of places that members of John Franklin's crew were buried.

The final area is the former Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) site. This is where the HBC and the Canalaska Trading Company moved to in 1927. The buildings are still in use today by The North West Company.

Piety Street (album)

Piety Street is a studio album by jazz musician John Scofield. It was recorded in New Orleans with local musicians including Meters bassist George Porter, Jr. and Jon Cleary.

The album features gospel music with Cleary taking vocal duties for the most of the songs. John Boutte is the guest vocalist on 3 tracks.

Robert Porter (bishop)

Robert George Porter, OBE was an Australian Anglican bishop in the Twentieth Century.Porter was educated at St John's College, Morpeth and Moore Theological College. He was ordained deacon in 1947, and priest in 1948. He served in New Guinea until 1957 when he became Archdeacon of Ballarat. In 1970 he became Bishop of The Murray, a post he held until 1989.

Sacramento Capitols

The Sacramento Capitols were a professional American football team based in Sacramento, California. Formed as the Sacramento Buccaneers, the team's inclusion in the Pacific Division of the Continental Football League was announced in May 1967. The franchise's first head coach was Don McCormick, formerly of the Pacific Tigers.

Less than two months into the 1967 season the Buccaneers' players threatened to quit after not receiving their pay for two games. The players agreed to stay on with a $75-per-game pay cut, but demanded more of a say in team affairs in return. McCormick and four of his assistants quit afterwards. Former Oakland Raiders player Joe Barbee was hired to coach the team on an interim basis.The financially troubled franchise was purchased in March 1968 and later renamed to the Sacramento Capitols. Under new head coach George Porter the team improved to 5-7 in 1968 and then 8-4 in 1969. The team made the CFL playoffs for the first and only time in 1969, where they lost 31-0 to the Las Vegas Cowboys. In July 1970, with the future of the CFL in doubt, the Capitols folded after selling less than half of the 3,000 season tickets needed to remain viable.


Soulive is a funk/jazz trio that originated in Woodstock, New York, and is known for its solos and catchy, upbeat songs. The band consists of Eric Krasno (guitar), Alan Evans (drums) and Neal Evans (Hammond B3 organ, bass keys, clavinet). Although they originated as a trio, the band has worked extensively with different horn sections, which have included Sam Kininger (saxophone) from 2000 to 2003, Rashawn Ross (trumpet), and Ryan Zoidis (saxophone) from 2003 to 2006. The band also worked with vocalist Toussaint Yeshua from 2006 to 2007. Soulive is currently touring in the original trio lineup of Eric Krasno, Alan Evans, and Neal Evans.

The Meters

The Meters are an American funk band formed in 1965 by Zigaboo Modeliste (drums), George Porter Jr. (bass), Leo Nocentelli (guitar), and Art Neville (keyboards) in New Orleans. The band performed and recorded their own music from the late 1960s until 1977 and played an influential role as backing musicians for other artists, including Lee Dorsey, Robert Palmer, Dr. John, and Allen Toussaint. Their original songs "Cissy Strut" and "Look-Ka Py Py" are considered funk classics. Their most successful song, "They All Ask'd for You", from their 1975 album Fire on the Bayou, became an unexpected hit on radio in the region and is regarded today as the unofficial anthem of New Orleans' Audubon Zoo as well as the band's signature song.While they rarely enjoyed significant mainstream success, they are considered originators of funk along with artists like James Brown, and their work is influential on many other bands, both their contemporaries and modern musicians. Their sound is defined by a combination of tight melodic grooves and highly syncopated New Orleans "second line" rhythms under highly charged guitar and keyboard riffing. The band has been nominated four times for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, most recently in 2017. In 2018 the band was presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

University of Leicester

The University of Leicester ( (listen) LES-tər) is a public research university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park. In 1957, the university's predecessor (University College, Leicester) gained university status.

For 2018/19, the university is nationally ranked 34th in The Sunday Times Good University Guide, 63rd by The Guardian University Guide and 29th in The Complete University Guide. It is ranked as one of the top 200 universities in the world by the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and the 25th in the United Kingdom. The university had an income of £302.8 million in 2016/17, of which £52.2 million was from research grants.The university is famous for the discovery of genetic fingerprinting and contributing to the discovery and identification of the remains of King Richard III.

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