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ERNST Richard

( Chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1991)

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Biography ERNST Richard
ERNST, Richard (Ernst, Richard) (p. 1933) (Switzerland). Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1991.
Born in 1933 in the family of architect Robert and Irma (Bruner) Ernst in Winterthur, Switzerland, where his ancestors lived from 15 in.

Since childhood, was fascinated by music and chemistry. After leaving school he studied chemistry at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, but was disappointed formulation of education, and the main source of his knowledge, was a book. After graduation and military service he returned to the institute to carry out dissertation work related to the design details of high resolution spectrometers for proton magnetic resonance.

In 1950, Felix Bloch, Swiss-American, and E. M. Purcell independently discovered that the frequency of nuclear magnetic resonance depends not only on the nature of atomic nuclei, but also on their chemical environment. Arose by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), which quickly became a powerful tool for structural analysis in the hands of chemists, and Bloch and Purcell received the Nobel Prize in Physics 1952. Quickly and discovered a lack of NMR - not high sensitivity, allowing to work only with concentrated solutions and with not very large molecules.

Protection, dissertation in 1962, Ernest decided to leave the university and got a job at the world famous company to design and manufacture of NMR spectrometers 'Varian Associates'. Here, he (along with the American Weston A. Anderson) discovered that you can significantly increase the sensitivity of NMR high-resolution, replacing the slow-scan frequency short intense RF pulses. These pulses cause the radiation signal nuclei. The signal is measured as a function of time after the pulse. Ernst discovered that out of such a signal can then extract the resonant frequencies and turn it into the NMR spectrum with the help of a mathematical operation - Fourier transform (FT, transforming - conversion).

In 1964, Ernst, at the suggestion of Anderson, has done a successful experiment, which led to the use of the Fourier method. Reaction to their invention, however, was sluggish - article was twice rejected by one magazine ( 'Journal of Chemical Physics'), before being published in another ( 'Review of Scientific Instruments'). Company Management 'Varian Associates' resisted the creation of a new spectrometer. As a result, 'Brooker' first demonstrated in 1969, a copy of a commercial NMR spectrometer with Fourier transform, although the patent for this invention was a firm 'Varian'.

Since the opening of Ernst became the basis of modern NMR spectroscopy, the so-called FT NMR method. NMR was in the dozens and sometimes hundreds of times more sensitive. During the time necessary to record a single spectrum, FT-experiment can be repeated many times, but overall result processed by the computer. It became possible to work both with low concentrations of substances and with the nuclei of isotopes with low content in natural samples. Great importance had computers that could connect directly to the spectrometers. In 1966-1968, Ernst and his colleagues have been developing many ways of applying computer technology to automate experiments and to improve data.

Another fundamentally important improvement was developed in 1960-1970-e - the emergence of new magnet-based superconducting materials. These magnets create a more powerful and stable magnetic field, which increased the sensitivity and resolution of NMR.

In 1968, after a long trip to Asia, Ernst returned to Switzerland, where he headed the research group dealing with the NMR method in the laboratory of Physical Chemistry, Federal Institute of Technology. At this time, it became known that the principle of two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy can be used to create MRI. Since then, a multi-dimensional NMR spectroscopy has developed rapidly

. The next important event occurred in 1971, . when graduate Thomas Ernst Baumann during the flight of scientific school in Yugoslavia, he heard the message of Professor Jean Genet about using the new simple double-pulse sequence, . which causes the appearance of two-dimensional NMR spectrum,
. Officer Ernst Enrico Bartholdi made the first calculations to determine the features of experiments on two-dimensional spectroscopy. The summer of 1974 undertook the first experiments, presented at the International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in biological systems in Kandersteg in the same year. Thus, Ernst and co-workers in 1975 developed a method of two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy, which opened up entirely new prospects. At this time, it became known that the principle of two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy can be used to create MRI.

In subsequent years, colleagues Ernst made numerous changes to the basic concept of two-dimensional spectroscopy. In parallel, and other research teams have proposed many new methods.

In 1976 Ernst began an intense collaboration that lasted for 10 years, with the professor of the same institute K. Vyutrihom. Wц+thrich and his team have introduced significant innovations, sdelashie possible to determine three-dimensional structure of biomolecules in solution. Later he became co-operate with Professor Arthur Shveygerom, an outstanding innovator in the field of EPR spectroscopy.

Simultaneously, Ernst (along with many colleagues from many countries) has developed a research program on the application of NMR spectroscopy in solids. The program has found application in systems such as organic conductors, polymer mixtures, hydrogen bond-related molecules of carboxylic acids, etc..

In 1991 the scientific work of Ernst was awarded the Nobel Prize 'for his contribution to the development of the methodology of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), high-resolution'.

NMR spectroscopy is now used in virtually all fields of chemistry, both in teaching and research laboratories, and industry. Typical modern versions of the NMR studies are a set of several types of one-and two-dimensional (and sometimes even three and four) of the spectral characteristics of the studied chemical facility, . given, . that the method of two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy has been modified in hundreds of varieties,
. The information collected and a source for obtaining detailed picture of the structure of the molecule.

In this way, in particular, has become possible to decipher the full three-dimensional spatial structure of proteins and other biological macromolecules in solution. Evidence for this - the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2002 K. Vyutrihu for the application of NMR to analyze the structure of proteins in solution.

NMR method allows one to study the intermolecular interactions (enzyme - substrate, the biologically active substance - the receptor, etc.), which opens up broad prospects for supramolecular chemistry.

In recent years, more and more time at the Ernst-consuming administrative work at the Institute, whose president he became.


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