Theodore William Richards

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Richards, Theodore William


Born Jan. 31, 1868, in Germantown, Pa.; died Apr. 2, 1928, in Cambridge, Mass. American chemist.

Richards became a professor at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in 1901. In the years 1888–1923, he made an extremely precise determination, using a method which he himself had devised, of the atomic weights of 25 elements. In 1902 he experimentally corroborated Faraday’s laws. In 1913 he discovered that the atomic weight of the Pb obtained from uranium ores differs from that of the Pb obtained from thorium ores. This difference was one of the first demonstrations of the existence of isotopes. Richards was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1914.


Determinations of Atomic Weights of Silver, Lithium and Chlorine. Washington, D.C., 1910. (With H. H. Willard.)


Hartley, H. “Theodore William Richards Memorial Lecture.” Journal of the Chemical Society, 1930, part 2, pp. 1937–69.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.