Prof. R. Ernst was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1991 for his contributions towards the development of Fourier transform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy while at Varian Associates, Palo Alto and the subsequent development of multi-dimensional NMR techniques. These underpin applications to both to chemistry with NMR spectroscopy and to medicine with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Richard R. Ernst was born in 1933 in Winterthur, Switzerland. He received both his diploma in chemistry in 1957 and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1962 from ETH Zurich. His dissertation was on nuclear magnetic resonance in the field of physical chemistry. Ernst entered Varian Associates as a scientist in 1963 and invented Fourier transform NMR, noise decoupling, and a number of other methods. He returned to ETH Zurich in 1968 and became a lecturer. His career developed to Assistant Professor in 1970, Associate Professor in 1972. Since 1976, Richard R. Ernst was Full Professor of Physical Chemistry. He led a research group dedicated to magnetic resonance spectroscopy, was the director of the Physical Chemistry Laboratory at the ETH Zurich. He developed two-dimensional NMR and several novel pulse techniques. He retired in 1998. He participated in the development of medical magnetic resonance tomography, as well as the NMR structure determination of biopolymers in solution collaborating with Professor Kurt Wüthrich. He also participated in the study of intra-molecular dynamics.
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