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Fellows Directory

Richard Ernst

Professor Richard Ernst ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 1993


Richard Ernst is a Nobel Prize-winning physical chemist who developed Fourier transform nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with applications in chemistry and medicine. His research led to the development of both two-dimensional NMR, for the determination of the physical and chemical properties of atoms, and medical magnetic resonance tomography (MRT), an imaging technique used to investigate the human body.

NMR is arguably the most powerful structural analysis tool that chemists have at their disposal. Richard discovered that by applying short, intense pulses of radio waves instead of slow, sweeping ones, the sensitivity of NMR techniques could be dramatically improved. His discovery enabled the analysis of a much wider range of nuclei and smaller amounts of materials.

Richard was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and holds multiple patents for high-resolution multi-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. He continues to approach his work with the belief that researchers and academics are responsible not only as educators, but also as influencers of global development for the benefit of all.


  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    For his contributions to the development of the methodology of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

  • Wolf Prize

    In the field of chemistry for his revolutionary contributions to NMR spectroscopy, especially Fourier-transform and two-dimensional NMR.