Ernst, Richard Robert

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Ernst, Richard Robert

Ernst, Richard Robert 1933–2021, Swiss chemist, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich; B.S., 1956, Ph.D., 1962). He worked as a research scientist from 1963-68 in Palo Alto, Calif., before becoming a chemistry professor in Zürich at ETH (1968-98) until he retired. He was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in refining nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy (see magnetic resonance). His refinements made NMR spectroscopy, which is an important technique of chemical analysis, up to 100 times more sensitive and has allowed the precise analysis of biological molecular structures, which formed the basis for the development of MRI imaging in medicine. Among his other awards and honors were the Wolf Prize for Chemistry, the Horwitz Prize, the Marcel Benoist Prize, and 17 honorary doctorates.
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