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Gerhard Herzberg: An Illustrious Life in Science

Biography / MemoirOut of Print

By: Boris Stoicheff

468 pages, B/w photos

McGill-Queens University Press

Hardback | Mar 2003 | #137502 | ISBN: 0660187574
Out of Print Details

About this book

Gerhard Herzberg (1904-1999), winner of the 1971 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is considered the founder of molecular spectroscopy. This is a biography of one of the most influential scientists in the twentieth century.

From the Prologue: "It was the afternoon of November 2, 1971, and Gerhard Herzberg was sitting on the Moscow Express wondering about the delay in leaving the Leningard Station. He had been brought to the train on this cold and damp day with much fanfare by scientific colleagues of Leningrad University. They carried his bags, saw him settled comfortably at a reserved window seat, and waved cheerfully as the "All aboard" sounded. However, the train remained motionless, and restless passengers continually checked their watches. He became aware of some commotion on the platform as a burly figure was hurriedly guided by a conductor, gesturing to Herzberg's car and cabin. In the next moment Herzberg was being addressed by a breathless man who removed his fur hat and stood at attention. "Professor Herzberg, I am the Secretary of the Soviet Academy of Science, and I have the honour to confirm that you have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics." With these words, the Secretary shook hands and quickly stepped off the train as it began moving."

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