1868-1928

Theodore William Richards

Location: First Floor, Room 136, North Wall, Sequence 5

Source: Kedzie Collection

Sponsor: Anonymous Faculty Member


Richards was a meticulous experimentalist who, with his students at Harvard, determined more accurately than ever before the atomic weights of many of the elements, including oxygen, barium, strontium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, cobalt, silver, carbon, nitrogen and lead. He received the 1914 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. But since atomic weight turned out to be a less fundamental property of matter than atomic number, Richards' legacy lies not in those precise numbers, but in his strong influence on his students, many of whom became leaders in shaping chemical education and research in the United States.