Page 4 - PERIODIC Magazine Issue 7
P. 4

P       rofessor

                    Sir John Rowlinson

                                                              Amongst Sir John’s profoundly influential contributions to the
                                                              chemical sciences was his discovery of the wide existence of
                                                              lower critical solution temperatures, below which two or more
                                                              substances will mix completely in all proportions.  Sir John
                                                              made significant contributions to the theoretical description of
                                                              intermolecular forces, such as his temperature-dependent hard
                                                              sphere model of repulsive components of intermolecular forces.
                                                              Sir John also had a long-standing interest in the history of
                                                              physical chemistry and in understanding the development of the
                                                              field. This included seminal biographical work on Johannes van
                                                              der Waals, including a translation of van der Waals’s doctoral

                                                              Sir John’s outstanding work was recognised by numerous
                                                              awards and accolades.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal
                                                              Society in 1970 and was appointed a Fellow of the Royal
                                                              Academy of Engineering in 1976.  In 1983 he received the
                                                              Faraday Lectureship Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry
                                                              for ‘exceptional contributions to physical or theoretical
                                                              chemistry’.   In 2000 he was knighted for services to chemistry,
                                                              chemical engineering and to education.  Sir John’s many
          Professor Sir John Rowlinson (photo courtesy of Exeter College)  contributions to the history of science were recognised in 2008,
                                                              when he received the ACS Edelstein award for ‘the breadth
               Professor Sir John Rowlinson died last  and quality of his research publications in the history of physical
                   year after a long and distinguished        chemistry and his contributions over the last three decades to
                    career.  Born in Cheshire in 1926,        the development of the history of chemistry at the University of
                  Sir John studied chemistry at Trinity
                before moving to a lectureship at the
                   University of Manchester.  In 1961
                    he became Professor of Chemical
                       Technology at Imperial College
                    London, and in 1974 he returned
                    to Oxford as Dr Lee’s Professor of
                       Chemistry and Fellow of Exeter
                 College.  Sir John served as Dr Lee’s
                       Professor of Chemistry until his

                                     retirement in 1993.       John approaching the summit of the Matterhorn in 1980

            Periodic        The Magazine of the Department of Chemistry
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