During World War II, he serves in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. The training is electronics and pulse technique later proves useful in suggesting new approaches to chemical problems.
George Porter is born in Stainforth, Yorkshire.
In 1966 he moves to London to become Director and Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution. There his research group uses the technique of flash photolysis to study details of many different reactions, like combustion and photosynthesis. Porter has attracted great attention in 1973 with his then-visionary statement that the world’s energy problems could be solved by solar energy. He has contributed to many films and television programmes.
In 1945, he moves to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he works as a postgraduate student with Ronald Norrish and is appointed deputy head of the Physical Chemistry department in 1952. Norrish and Porter study extremely fast chemical reactions and develop innovative measuring techniques, especially the method of “flash photolysis”.
Porter becomes Professor of Physical Chemistry at Sheffield University.
He is educated at local primary and grammar schools.
He marries Stella Jean Brooke in 1949. They have two sons.
In 1967, George Porter and Ronald Norrish share one half of the Chemistry Nobel Prize for their investigations of extremely fast reactions, while the other half of the Prize goes to Manfred Eigen. The method of flash photolysis is based on the idea the chemical equilibria can be upset by short high-energy pulses. It can be applied to many problems of physics, chemistry and biology.
Porter studies at Leeds University.
Porter serves as Chancellor of the University of Leicester between 1984 and 1995.
George Porter dies in 2002.