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Roscoe, Sir Henry Enfield

chemistry college chemical vanadium

(1833–1915) British chemist: pioneer in photochemistry, vanadium chemistry and chemical education.

Son of a Liverpool lawyer, Roscoe’s enthusiasm for chemistry began at school. As a Dissenter, he went to University College, London and studied under and then in Heidelberg with . Back in London in 1855, he juggled several modest chemical jobs in teaching and consultancy to make a living, but in 1857 he became professor in Owens College in Manchester, which gave him great scope. The college was unpopular in 1857, but Roscoe soon attracted students and convinced manufacturers of their value. His Manchester school of chemistry, then the best in Britain, did much to convert Owens College into the Victoria University. In 1885 he became an MP for Manchester for 10 years, and then vice-chancellor of London University.

His research with Bunsen was on the chemical action of light, using particularly the reaction: H2 + Cl2 2HCl. This was the first research in quantitative photochemistry. In 1865 he heard that vanadium ores had been found in a Cheshire copper mine and this led him to explore vanadium chemistry. He was the first to make the metal, by reduction of VCl2 . He always had an interest in industrial chemistry, and in technical education.

Rosenthal, Joseph J. [next] [back] Roper, Moses(c. 1815–?) - Slave, abolitionist, Chronology

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