In the process of making the organic chemicals, Illinois chemists tested and perfected the directions for their syntheses. These recipes were incorporated into a series of volumes giving carefully checked recipes for the synthesis of organic compounds. The publication Organic Syntheses, founded by Roger Adams continues to the present day.
Born in Golden, Colo., and educated at the universities of Colorado and Michigan, John Bailar became an instructor at Illinois in 1928. It was the start of a sixty-three year career in the Department of Chemistry. As a graduate student he became interested in organic isomerism, but while teaching a general chemistry course he realized that isomerism, the occurrence of different compounds with the same chemical composition, could also exist among inorganic compounds.
Bailar contributed substantially to the development of heat-resistant inorganic polymers and to the field of homogeneous catalysis. He also studied the role of coordination compounds in electrochemical processes. His investigations included their stability in solution and their function in the electrodeposition of metals.
Gutowsky and his students made great advances in the early days of NMR, discovering the phenomenon of spin-spin coupling and recognizing its utility for the assignment of structure. He steadily increased the breadth of studies of the structure and molecular motion of molecules, the origin of chemical shifts in NMR spectra, and the use of NMR to identify complex organic compounds. Gutowsky and his colleagues demonstrated that NMR could be used to study exchange processes in chemical systems and to identify and characterize complex compounds.
Carl Marvel was born on a farm and grew up expecting to be a farmer. He later said his uncle, a high school teacher, urged him to study science "because the next generation of farmers was going to need scientific knowledge to get the most out of their work." Accordingly, Marvel enrolled at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1911 and discovered he enjoyed synthesizing organic compounds. 1e1e36bf2d