Home US Top Universities Chemist Victor Laurie, who contributed to the sector of microwave spectroscopy, dies at 88

Chemist Victor Laurie, who contributed to the sector of microwave spectroscopy, dies at 88

Chemist Victor Laurie, who contributed to the sector of microwave spectroscopy, dies at 88


Victor W. Laurie, professor of chemistry, emeritus, who made quite a few contributions to the sector of microwave spectroscopy, died on Sept. 13 at age 88 in Skillman, New Jersey.

Laurie joined the college of the Division of Chemistry in 1966, a interval of early-career acclaim when he was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He transferred to emeritus standing in 2000.

“Vic Laurie and I got here to Princeton in the summertime of 1966, he as a tenured affiliate professor who had already achieved essential work in microwave spectroscopy, notably the construction of the water dimer; and I as an assistant professor firstly of an educational profession,” mentioned Zoltan Soos, professor of chemistry, emeritus.

“Vic was all the time obtainable to speak science, although his main pursuits have been within the gasoline section and mine in solid-state concept,” Soos mentioned. “I am grateful that he actively supported my promotion to tenure, and I later realized that an invite to put in writing a overview article was at his suggestion.”

Microwave spectroscopy, Laurie’s space of analysis experience, analyzes molecules within the gasoline section primarily based on their spectra and permits the calculation of their geometric construction with excessive accuracy. By analyzing nice construction in these spectra, bodily properties of those molecules — corresponding to molecular dipole moments — may be measured with excessive accuracy. 

Laurie revealed greater than 50 papers in skilled journals. Two of his most important contributions to this area have been a common overview, “Molecular constructions of gasoline section polyatomic molecules decided by spectroscopic strategies,” revealed within the Journal of Chemical and Bodily Reference Knowledge, and a outstanding research, “Microwave spectrum of cis-difluoroethylene,” revealed within the Journal of Chemical Physics.

Throughout his early educational years, Laurie studied with a stellar household of chemists together with Princeton alumnus E. Brilliant Wilson ’30, *31, the late Harvard College professor and American chemist who himself was a pupil of two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling; and Dudley Herschbach, additionally a Nobel laureate in chemistry.

Laurie was born in 1935 in Columbia, South Carolina, to Victor H. Laurie and Kathleen Rice Laurie. In 1950, on the age of 15, he entered the College of South Carolina, graduating with an A.B. in arithmetic in 1953 and a B.S. in chemistry in 1954.

Laurie earned his Ph.D. in bodily chemistry from Harvard in 1957 for his analysis with Wilson. From 1957 to 1959, he labored with the molecular spectroscopy laboratory on the Nationwide Bureau of Requirements and was a Nationwide Science Basis postdoctoral fellow on the College of California-Berkeley from 1959 to 1960.

In 1960, he joined the chemistry school at Stanford College as an assistant professor, the place he stayed till 1966. He was appointed affiliate professor when he joined Princeton in 1966, and he was promoted to full professor in 1971.

He was a fellow within the American Bodily Society and served phrases as an editor for the Annual Evaluation of Bodily Chemistry and for the Journal of Chemical Physics.

In his later years, Laurie was energetic in educating people, notably senior residents, in easy methods to use private computer systems, giving frequent lectures on the town and writing an everyday column for a number of web sites together with Gizmo’s Freeware, a mainstay of all issues freeware in private computing’s early days. He acquired a number of commendations for his work amongst senior residents.

A frequent contributor to charities, Laurie endowed numerous fellowships on the College of South Carolina’s School of Arts and Sciences, together with the Victor Laurie Junior Yr Scholarship and the Victor Laurie Senior Yr Scholarship. He served on that college’s Board of Guests and was designated Alumnus of the Month in March 2006.

Laurie is survived by his spouse of a few years, Donna Komar Laurie, a former New York Instances editor; a son, William Laurie; daughter Kathleen Kish from a earlier marriage; stepdaughter Margaret Spicer; stepson Charles Stempler; quite a few grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren and step great-grandchildren; his half-sister, Betsy Sivec; and nephew August Sivec.

Learn or share feedback on a memorial web page meant to honor Laurie’s life and legacy.



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