William Ramsay (1852-1916)


William Ramsay was born in Glasgow, in October 2nd 1852, and died in High Wycombe, in July 23rd 1916.

In 1872 he started his carrier in teaching and research, at the Young Laboratory. His first work was related with the study of a new bismuth mineral. However, by suggestion of Rayleigh, started to work in the explanation of density differences between atmospheric and laboratory nitrogen. This work led to the discovery of argon (1894). In 1895, received the Davy medal of the Royal Society. His seek for alternative argon sources in ores led to the discovery of helium. Later on, identified the presence of other noble gases in the distillation residues of liquid air. Ramsay became also interested in the study of radioactive substances connecting the helium in the alfa disintegration and identifying radon as the last of the noble gases.

In 1904 was awarded the Nobel Prize of Chemistry.