William Albert Noyes


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(1857–1941) American chemist

Noyes, born the son of a farmer in Independence, Iowa, was educated at Johns Hopkins University where he obtained his PhD in 1882. After working at the University of Tennessee (1883–86) and Rose Polytechnic, Terre Haute, Indiana (1886–1903), he held the post of chief chemist at the Bureau of Standards (1903–06). He then moved to the University of Illinois where he served as professor of chemistry until his retirement in 1926.

Noyes is mainly remembered for his careful and accurate determination of certain crucial atomic weights while at the Bureau of Standards. His measurement of the hydrogen-to-oxygen ratio as 1.00787:16 differs only at the fourth decimal place from currently accepted values. He also, in addition to writing a number of textbooks, founded Chemical Abstracts in 1907 and was the first editor of Chemical Reviews (1924–26).

Subjects: Science and Mathematics.

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