Richard R. Ernst

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Richard Ernst
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Richard R. Ernst in 2009
Richard Robert Ernst

(1933-08-14) 14 August 1933 (age 85)
Alma mater ETH Zurich (PhD)
Known for Ernst angle
Fourier transform NMR spectroscopy
2D NMR spectroscopy/Nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy/Exclusive correlation spectroscopy
3D NMR spectroscopy
Scientific career
Thesis Kernresonanz-Spektroskopie mit stochastischen Hochfrequenzfeldern  (1962)

Richard Robert Ernst (born 14 August 1933) is a Swiss physical chemist and Nobel Laureate. [2]

Switzerland federal republic in Central Europe

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a sovereign state situated in the confluence of western, central, and southern Europe. It is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities seated in Bern. Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi), and land area of 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi). While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are located, among them the two global cities and economic centres of Zürich and Geneva.

Nobel Prize Set of annual international awards, primarily 5 established in 1864 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.


Born in Winterthur, Switzerland, Ernst was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1991 for his contributions towards the development of Fourier transform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy [3] while at Varian Associates, Palo Alto and the subsequent development of multi-dimensional NMR techniques. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] These underpin applications to both to chemistry with NMR spectroscopy and to medicine with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). [1]

Winterthur Place in Zürich, Switzerland

Winterthur is a city in the canton of Zürich in northern Switzerland. It has the country's sixth-largest population, estimated at over 110,000 people, and is the ninth-largest agglomeration with about 140,000 inhabitants. Today Winterthur is a service and high-tech industrial satellite city within Greater Zürich, located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) northeast of Zürich, and only 20 minutes by train.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry One of the five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of chemistry. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. This award is administered by the Nobel Foundation, and awarded by Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on proposal of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry which consists of five members elected by Academy. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.

Fourier transform mathematical transform that expresses a mathematical function of time as a function of frequency

The Fourier transform (FT) decomposes a function of time into its constituent frequencies. This is similar to the way a musical chord can be expressed in terms of the volumes and frequencies of its constituent notes. The term Fourier transform refers to both the frequency domain representation and the mathematical operation that associates the frequency domain representation to a function of time. The Fourier transform of a function of time is itself a complex-valued function of frequency, whose magnitude (modulus) represents the amount of that frequency present in the original function, and whose argument is the phase offset of the basic sinusoid in that frequency. The Fourier transform is not limited to functions of time, but the domain of the original function is commonly referred to as the time domain. There is also an inverse Fourier transform that mathematically synthesizes the original function from its frequency domain representation.


Ernst received both his diploma in chemistry in 1957 and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1962 [9] from ETH Zurich. [10]

Physical chemistry is the study of macroscopic, atomic, subatomic, and particulate phenomena in chemical systems in terms of the principles, practices, and concepts of physics such as motion, energy, force, time, thermodynamics, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics, analytical dynamics and chemical equilibrium.

Awards and honours

Richard R. Ernst, UNESCO 2011

Ernst is a foreign fellow of the Estonian Academy of Sciences (elected 2002) [11] and Bangladesh Academy of Sciences. [12] He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1993. [1] He was awarded the John Gamble Kirkwood Medal in 1989.[ citation needed ] The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1991 was awarded to Richard R. Ernst "for his contributions to the development of the methodology of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy" [13] A strong proponent of Ernst's nomination was the long-time Danish colleague and member of the Nobel Committee Professor Børge Bak.

Bangladesh Academy of Sciences is an academic forum for Bangladeshi scientists and technologists. Established in 1973, it aims to fulfill the role of promoting research and development of sciences in Bangladesh.

John "Jack" Gamble Kirkwood was a noted chemist and physicist, holding faculty positions at Cornell University, the University of Chicago, California Institute of Technology, and Yale University.

He holds Honorary Doctorates from the Technical University of Munich and University of Zurich.[ citation needed ]

Honorary degree

An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, a dissertation, and the passing of comprehensive examinations. It is also known by the Latin phrases honoris causa or ad honorem . The degree is typically a doctorate or, less commonly, a master's degree, and may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous postsecondary education. An example of identifying a recipient of this award is as follows: Doctorate in Business Administration.

Technical University of Munich Research university in Germany

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is a research university with campuses in Munich, Garching and Freising-Weihenstephan. It is a member of TU9, an incorporated society of the largest and most notable German institutes of technology. TUM's alumni include 17 Nobel laureates, 18 Leibniz Prize winners and 22 IEEE Fellow Members.

University of Zurich university in Switzerland

The University of Zurich, located in the city of Zürich, is the largest university in Switzerland, with over 25,000 students. It was founded in 1833 from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine and a new faculty of philosophy.

Ernst is member of the World Knowledge Dialogue Scientific Board. Ernst was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize of Columbia University in 1991. [14] He was also awarded the Tadeus Reichstein Medal in 2000 [15] and the Order of the Star of Romania in 2004. [16]

The Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for Biology or Biochemistry is an annual prize awarded by Columbia University to a researcher or group of researchers who have made an outstanding contribution in basic research in the fields of biology or biochemistry.

Columbia University Private Ivy League research university in New York City

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.

Order of the Star of Romania highest order of Romania

The Order of the Star of Romania is Romania's highest civil Order and second highest State decoration after the defunct Order of Michael the Brave. It is awarded by the President of Romania. It has five ranks, from lowest to the highest: Officer, Commander, Grand Officer, Grand Cross, and Grand Cross with Collar.

The 2009 Bel Air Film Festival featured the world premiere of a documentary film on Ernst Science Plus Dharma Equals Social Responsibility. Produced by Carlo Burton, the film takes place in Ernst's hometown in Switzerland. [17]

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  1. 1 2 3 "Professor Richard Ernst ForMemRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-10-11.
  2. Alger, J R (1992). "The 1991 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded to an MRI investigator". Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography. 16 (1): 1–2. doi:10.1097/00004728-199201000-00001. PMID   1729287.
  3. Aue, W. P. (1976). "Two-dimensional spectroscopy. Application to nuclear magnetic resonance". The Journal of Chemical Physics. 64 (5): 2229–2246. Bibcode:1976JChPh..64.2229A. doi:10.1063/1.432450. ISSN   0021-9606.
  4. Freeview video interview with Richard Ernst by the Vega Science Trust
  5. Interview with Professor Richard R. Ernst by Joanna Rose, science writer, 8 December 2001.
  6. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1991
  7. Ernst Autobiography at
  8. Ernst, Richard, R. "Richard R. Ernst". Retrieved July 18, 2015.
  9. Ernst, Richard R. (1962). Kernresonanz-Spektroskopie mit stochastischen Hochfrequenzfeldern (PhD thesis). Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. doi:10.3929/ethz-a-000091764.
  10. Prof. Dr. Richard R. Ernst, ETH Zurich Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, (Retrieved April 18, 2016)
  11. Estonian Academy of Sciences, Membership
  12. List of Fellows of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences Archived 2010-04-15 at the Wayback Machine
  13. "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1991". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 10 Nov 2015. <>
  14. The Official Site of Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize
  15. "Reichstein Medal | Swiss Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences SAPhS". Retrieved 2017-04-02.
  16. "DECRET 18 16/01/2004 - Portal Legislativ".
  17. "Film Festival Ticker". Archived from the original on 2009-11-11.