Norman Greenwood

Norman Neill Greenwood FRS CChem FRSC (19 January 1925 – 14 November 2012[1][2][3]) was an Australian-British chemist and Emeritus Professor at the University of Leeds.[4] He is probably best known for the innovative textbook Chemistry of the Elements, co-authored with Alan Earnshaw, first published in 1984.

Norman Neill Greenwood
Norman Greenwood
Born19 January 1925
Melbourne, Australia
Died14 November 2012 (aged 87)
Leeds, United Kingdom
Alma materSidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Known forBoron chemistry
Determination of atomic weights
The textbook Chemistry of the Elements
Scientific career
FieldsInorganic chemistry
InstitutionsUniversity of Newcastle upon Tyne
University of Leeds
Doctoral advisorHarry Julius Emeléus
Notable studentsKenneth Wade


After attending University High School (1939–42), Greenwood read Chemistry at the University of Melbourne and graduated with a BSc in 1945 and an MSc in 1948. In 1948 he was awarded the Exhibition of 1851 Scholarship to enable him to read for a PhD at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge under the supervision of Harry Julius Emeléus. He received the PhD in 1951.[5]

Greenwood was a senior research fellow at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment from 1951 until 1953 when he was appointed a lecturer at the University of Nottingham. His first PhD student at Nottingham was Kenneth Wade (1954–1957).[6]

Professor William Wynne-Jones, who was the Chairman of the School of Chemistry at Kings College, Durham (which was to become the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1963), recruited Greenwood to the first established chair of inorganic chemistry in the country in 1961.

Greenwood was appointed professor and head of the Department of Inorganic and Structural Chemistry at the University of Leeds in 1971, a post which he held until his retirement in 1990 when he was given the title emeritus professor.

Greenwood was elected a fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1987.[7]

His wide-ranging researches in inorganic and structural chemistry have made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and has held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world. He was appointed by NASA as principal investigator in the study of lunar rocks.[4] He served as chairman of the IUPAC Commission on Atomic Weights from 1970 to 1975 and also as president of the IUPAC Inorganic Chemistry Division.[5]


  • Greenwood, N.N. (1968). Principles of Atomic Orbitals – Monograph for Teachers. Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 48. ISBN 9780854040285.
  • Greenwood, N.N. (1968). Ionic crystals, lattice defects and nonstoichiometry. Butterworths. p. 194.
  • Greenwood, N.N; Gibb, T.C. (1971). Mössbauer Spectroscopy. Chapman and Hall. p. 659.
  • Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 1340. ISBN 0-08-037941-9.
  • Greenwood, N.N. (2012). Recollections of a Scientist Volume 1. Boyhood and Youth in Australia. Xlibris Corporation. p. 288. ISBN 1-4691-7935-0. (self-published)
  • Greenwood, N.N. (2012). Recollections of a Scientist, Volume 2: Expanding Horizons: England and Europe (1948–51). Xlibris Corporation. p. 438. ISBN 978-1477151860. (self-published)

Editor: Spectroscopic Properties of Inorganic and Organometallic Compounds, Royal Society of Chemistry, Volume 1 (1968) to Volume 9 (1976)


  1. ^ University of Leeds, Obituary notice
  2. ^ Perkins, Peter (27 November 2012). "Norman Greenwood |". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  3. ^ Obituary notice, The Times, 30 November 2012
  4. ^ a b Johnson, Brian (25 November 2011). "Norman Greenwood tells his life story (May 2011)". Web of Stories. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
  5. ^ a b University of Leeds, Obituary
  6. ^ Wade, Kenneth (21 May 2009). "Harry Julius Emeleus (1903–1993)" (PDF). Chemical Genealogy Database. University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  7. ^ Royal Society, List of Fellows

External links

1983 Birthday Honours

Queen's Birthday Honours are announced on or around the date of the Queen's Official Birthday in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The dates vary, both from year to year and from country to country. All are published in supplements to the London Gazette, and many are formally conferred by the monarch (or her representative) some time after the date of the announcement, particularly for those service people on active duty.

The 1983 Queen's Birthday honours lists were announced on 10 June 1983.At this time honours for Australians were still being awarded in the UK honours on the advice of the premiers of Australian states, as well as in the Australian honours system which had been established in 1975.

Recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honours.


The chalcogens () are the chemical elements in group 16 of the periodic table. This group is also known as the oxygen family. It consists of the elements oxygen (O), sulfur (S), selenium (Se), tellurium (Te), and the radioactive element polonium (Po). The chemically uncharacterized synthetic element livermorium (Lv) is predicted to be a chalcogen as well. Often, oxygen is treated separately from the other chalcogens, sometimes even excluded from the scope of the term "chalcogen" altogether, due to its very different chemical behavior from sulfur, selenium, tellurium, and polonium. The word "chalcogen" is derived from a combination of the Greek word khalkόs (χαλκός) principally meaning copper (the term was also used for bronze/brass, any metal in the poetic sense, ore or coin), and the Latinised Greek word genēs, meaning born or produced.Sulfur has been known since antiquity, and oxygen was recognized as an element in the 18th century. Selenium, tellurium and polonium were discovered in the 19th century, and livermorium in 2000. All of the chalcogens have six valence electrons, leaving them two electrons short of a full outer shell. Their most common oxidation states are −2, +2, +4, and +6. They have relatively low atomic radii, especially the lighter ones.Lighter chalcogens are typically nontoxic in their elemental form, and are often critical to life, while the heavier chalcogens are typically toxic. All of the chalcogens have some role in biological functions, either as a nutrient or a toxin. The lighter chalcogens, such as oxygen and sulfur, are rarely toxic and usually helpful in their pure form. Selenium is an important nutrient but is also commonly toxic. Tellurium often has unpleasant effects (although some organisms can use it), and polonium is always extremely harmful, both in its chemical toxicity and its radioactivity.

Sulfur has more than 20 allotropes, oxygen has nine, selenium has at least five, polonium has two, and only one crystal structure of tellurium has so far been discovered. There are numerous organic chalcogen compounds. Not counting oxygen, organic sulfur compounds are generally the most common, followed by organic selenium compounds and organic tellurium compounds. This trend also occurs with chalcogen pnictides and compounds containing chalcogens and carbon group elements.

Oxygen is generally extracted from air and sulfur is extracted from oil and natural gas. Selenium and tellurium are produced as byproducts of copper refining. Polonium and livermorium are most available in particle accelerators. The primary use of elemental oxygen is in steelmaking. Sulfur is mostly converted into sulfuric acid, which is heavily used in the chemical industry. Selenium's most common application is glassmaking. Tellurium compounds are mostly used in optical disks, electronic devices, and solar cells. Some of polonium's applications are due to its radioactivity.

Cliff Addison

Cyril Clifford "Cliff" Addison, FRS (28 November 1913 – 1 April 1994) was a British inorganic chemist.

Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights

The Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights (CIAAW) is an international scientific committee of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) under its Division of Inorganic Chemistry. Since 1899, it is entrusted with periodic critical evaluation of atomic weights of chemical elements and other cognate data, such as the isotopic composition of elements. The biennial CIAAW Standard Atomic Weights are accepted as the authoritative source in science and appear worldwide on the periodic table wall charts.The use of CIAAW Standard Atomic Weights is also required legally, for example, in calculation of calorific value of natural gas (ISO 6976:1995), or in gravimetric preparation of primary reference standards in gas analysis (ISO 6142:2006). In addition, the current definition of kelvin, the SI unit for thermodynamic temperature, makes direct reference to the isotopic composition of oxygen and hydrogen as recommended by CIAAW. The latest CIAAW report was published in February 2016. After 20 May 2019 a new definition for kelvin will come into force based on the Boltzmann constant.

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Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship and reason for notability, established cause of death, reference.

Free element

In chemistry, a free element is a chemical element that is not combined with or chemically bonded to other elements. Examples of elements which can occur as free elements include the oxygen molecule (O2) and carbon. All atoms of free elements have an oxidation number of 0.

Greenwood (surname)

Greenwood is a British surname, believed to be derived from the Greenwood or Greenwode settlement near Heptonstall in the metropolitan district of Calderdale in West Yorkshire. It was the homestead of Wyomarus de Greenwode, believed to be the principal ancestor of British Greenwoods, though some claim to be of French descent.

Harry Julius Emeléus

Harry Julius Emeléus CBE, FRS (22 June 1903 – 2 December 1993) was a leading British inorganic chemist and a professor in the department of chemistry, Cambridge University.

IUPAC Inorganic Chemistry Division

The Inorganic Chemistry Division of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), also known as Division II, deals with all aspects of inorganic chemistry, including materials and bioinorganic chemistry, and also with isotopes, atomic weights and the periodic table. It furthermore advises the Chemical Nomenclature and Structure Representation Division (Division VIII) on issues dealing with inorganic compounds and materials.

For the general public, the most visible result of the division's work is that it evaluates and advises the IUPAC on names and symbols proposed for new elements that have been approved for addition to the periodic table. For the scientific end educational community the work on isotopic abundances and atomic weights is of fundamental importance as these numbers are continuously checked and updated.

Kenneth Wade

Kenneth Wade, (1932–2014) was a British chemist, and professor emeritus at Durham University.

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Krypton difluoride, KrF2 is a chemical compound of krypton and fluorine. It was the first compound of krypton discovered. It is a volatile, colourless solid. The structure of the KrF2 molecule is linear, with Kr−F distances of 188.9 pm. It reacts with strong Lewis acids to form salts of the KrF+ and Kr2F+3 cations.The atomization energy of KrF2 (KrF2(g) → Kr(g) + 2F(g)) is 21.9 kcal/mol, giving an average Kr–F bond energy of only 11 kcal/mol, the weakest of any isolable fluoride. In comparison, difluorine is held together by a bond of 36 kcal/mol. Consequently, KrF2 is a good source of the extremely reactive and oxidizing atomic fluorine. It is thermally unstable, with a decomposition rate of 10% per hour at room temperature. Krypton difluoride is endothermic, with a heat of formation of 14.4 ± 0.8 kcal/mol measured at 93 °C.

List of University of Leeds people

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Liversidge Award

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Phosphite anion

A phosphite anion or phosphite in inorganic chemistry usually refers to [HPO3]2− but includes [H2PO3]− ([HPO2(OH)]−). These anions are the conjugate bases of phosphorous acid (H3PO3). The corresponding salts, e.g. sodium phosphite (Na2HPO3) are reducing in character.

Phosphorus sulfide

Phosphorus sulfides comprise a family of inorganic compounds containing only phosphorus and sulfur. These compounds have the formula P4Sx with x ≤ 10. Two are of commercial significance, phosphorus pentasulfide (P4S10), which is made on a kiloton scale for the production of other organosulfur compounds, and phosphorus sesquisulfide (P4S3), used in the production of "strike anywhere matches".

There are several other phosphorus sulfides in addition to P4S3 and P4S10. Six of these phosphorus sulfides exist as isomers: P4S4, P4S5, P4S6, P4S7, P4S8, and P4S9. These isomers are distinguished by Greek letter prefixes. The prefix is based on the order of the discovery of the isomers, not their structure. All known molecular phosphorus sulfides contain a tetrahedral array of four phosphorus atoms. P4S2 is also known but is unstable above −30 °C.

Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

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Tilden Prize

The Tilden Prize is an award that is made by the Royal Society of Chemistry for advances in chemistry. The award was established in 1939 and commemorates Sir William A. Tilden, a prominent British chemist. The prize runs annually with up to three prizes available. Winners receive £5000, a medal and certificate.

University High School, Melbourne

The University High School (UHS or Uni High) is an Australian public co-educational high school located in the Melbourne suburb of Parkville. 1,425 students attended the school in 2016.

Xenon tetroxide

Xenon tetroxide is a chemical compound of xenon and oxygen with molecular formula XeO4, remarkable for being a relatively stable compound of a noble gas. It is a yellow crystalline solid that is stable below −35.9 °C; above that temperature it is very prone to exploding and decomposing into elemental xenon and oxygen (O2).All eight valence electrons of xenon are involved in the bonds with the oxygen, and the oxidation state of the xenon atom is +8. Oxygen is the only element that can bring xenon up to its highest oxidation state; even fluorine can only give XeF6 (+6).

Two other short-lived xenon compounds with an oxidation state of +8, XeO3F2 and XeO2F4, are accessible by the reaction of xenon tetroxide with xenon hexafluoride. XeO3F2 and XeO2F4 can be detected with mass spectrometry. The perxenates are also compounds where xenon has the +8 oxidation state.

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