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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 16 (2011) pp 195-201

William Nunn Lipscomb, Jr. (1919–2011), Nobel Laureate and Borane Chemistry Pioneer: An Obituary-Tribute

George B. Kauffman* and Jean-Pierre Adloff

Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,; Honorary Professor, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France F-67100,

Published: 19 July 2011

Abstract. William Nunn Lipscomb, Jr. (1919–2011), the 1976 Nobel chemistry laureate, died on April 14, 2011 in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the age of 91. This obituary-tribute discusses his life and career with emphasis on his research on the chemistry of the hitherto neglected boranes and their unusual structure and bonding, which he carried out by use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and X-ray diffraction.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; Nobel Prize; inorganic chemistry; boranes; chemical bonding; proteins; crystallography; biography; x-ray diffraction; nuclear magnetic resonance; “electron-deficient” compounds

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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