Lipscomb , William Nunn
(1919–) American inorganic chemist
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Lipscomb was educated at the University of Kentucky (graduating in 1942) and the California Institute of Technology where he obtained his PhD in 1946. He worked at the University of Minnesota from 1946 to 1959, being appointed professor of chemistry in 1954. In 1959 Lipscomb moved to the chair of chemistry at Harvard where he remained until his retirement in 1990.
Lipscomb is best known for his work on boranes – hydrides of boron first investigated by Alfred Stock in the early part of the century. Boranes have such typical formulae as B2H6, B4H10, B10H14, and B18H22, which immediately appear to the chemist as analogous to the comparable hydrocarbon series, CH4, C2H6, C4H10, etc. However, as boron has only three electrons in its outer shell, it was difficult to see how the covalent electron-pair bonds could work with boron hydrides.
Using low-temperature x-ray diffraction analysis, Lipscomb tackled the problem of investigating the notoriously unstable boranes, producing evidence of some remarkable structures, totally original and completely unsuspected by earlier chemists. The basic concept of a three-center bond was derived from a structure for diborane proposed by H.C. Longuet-Higgins. This differs from the normal covalent bond found in hydrocarbons where adjacent carbon and hydrogen atoms share two electrons. In a three-center bond, a pair of electrons is shared equally by three atoms.
Lipscomb's work on boron hydrides involved new techniques that proved to have a wider application in chemistry and produced results that led to the formulation of more general theories. In particular, Lipscomb produced a theory of chemical effects in nuclear magnetic resonance studies of complex molecules. He also worked on the quantum mechanics of large complex molecules.
His group has also applied low-temperature x-ray diffraction techniques to other substances, including single crystals of such gases as oxygen and nitrogen, other inorganic compounds, and naturally occurring organic compounds. More recently he has turned to determinations of the structures of proteins, enzymes, and other substances of biochemical interest.
Lipscomb received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1976.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lipscomb, William Nunn,Jr. — Lip·scomb (lĭpʹskəm), William Nunn, Jr. Born 1919. American chemist. He won a 1976 Nobel Prize for his contributions to the theory of molecular structure. * * * …   Universalium

  • Lipscomb, William Nunn, Jr. — ▪ American chemist born Dec. 9, 1919, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.       American physical chemist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1976 for his research on the structure and bonding of boron compounds and the general nature of chemical bonding …   Universalium

  • William Nunn Lipscomb — (* 9. Dezember 1919 in Cleveland (Ohio)) ist ein amerikanischer Chemiker. Er ist seit 1959 Professor an der Harvard University und arbeitet unter anderem auf dem Gebiet der Röntgenstrukturanalyse und der Kristallzüchtung. Für die Erforschung des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Nunn Lipscomb — Lipscomb vers 1980. William Nunn Lipscomb (9 décembre 1919 à Cleveland, Ohio, États Unis et mort le 14 avril 2011[1] est …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Nunn Lipscom Jr. — noun United States chemist noted for his theories of molecular structure (born in 1919) • Syn: ↑Lipscomb • Instance Hypernyms: ↑chemist …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chemienobelpreis 1976: William Nunn Lipscomb —   Der amerikanische Chemiker erhielt den Nobelpreis für seine Arbeiten über die Struktur der Borane.    Biografie   William Nunn Lipscomb, * Cleveland (Ohio, USA) 9. 12. 1919; ab 1950 Professor in Minneapolis (Minnesota), ab 1959 in …   Universal-Lexikon

  • William Lipscomb — William Nunn Lipscomb William Nunn Lipscomb (né le 9 décembre 1919 à Cleveland dans l Ohio), est un chimiste américain. William Lipscomb est professeur depuis 1959 à l université Harvard et il travaille entre autres dans le domaine de l analyse… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William N. Lipscomb — William Nunn Lipscomb William Nunn Lipscomb (né le 9 décembre 1919 à Cleveland dans l Ohio), est un chimiste américain. William Lipscomb est professeur depuis 1959 à l université Harvard et il travaille entre autres dans le domaine de l analyse… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Num Lipscomb Jr. — William Nunn Lipscomb (* 9. Dezember 1919 in Cleveland (Ohio)) ist ein amerikanischer Chemiker. Er ist seit 1959 Professor an der Harvard University und arbeitet unter anderem auf dem Gebiet der Röntgenstrukturanalyse und der Kristallzüchtung.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Lipscomb — William Nunn Lipscomb, Jr (Cleveland, 1919 Cambridge (Massachusetts), 14 de abril de 2011[1] ) fue un químico y profesor universitario estadounidense galardonado con el …   Wikipedia Español

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