The New Student's Reference Work/Ramsay, Sir William

Ramsay, Sir William, K. C. B., F. R. S., professor of chemistry at University College, London, was born in 1852 at Glasgow, Scotland, and early distinguished himself by researches into the constituents of air while acting as professor of chemistry in University College at Bristol, of which he became principal in 1881. Six years later he was appointed to his present post, where he has with great success pursued his investigations and researches, the practical fruit of which led him in 1893, in conjunction with Lord Rayleigh, to discover the element argon and, later, the gaseous element helion. Sir William also detected in the air the heretofore unknown elements to which he has given the Greek names of neon, krypton and xenon; he has, moreover, shown the transformation of the radium emanation into helium, neon and, probably, argon and the more than likely change of copper into lithium and sodium. In 1904 Sir William was awarded the Nobel prize in chemistry. Besides issuing several textbooks on chemistry, Sir William has translated Beilstein's Qualitative Analysis and published a treatise on The Gases of the Atmosphere, with a history of their discovery.