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Ray Freeman

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Doctoral students  Gareth Morris
Fields  Chemistry
Name  Ray Freeman
Doctoral advisor  Rex Richards
Role  Chemist
Notable students  Ad Bax
Education  University of Oxford

Ray Freeman wwwrayfreemanorgimagesraykyoto164x235jpg
Born  Raymond Freeman January 6, 1932 (age 83) (1932-01-06)
Institutions  University of Cambridge National Physical Laboratory
Alma mater  Lincoln College, Oxford
Thesis  Some chemical applications of nuclear magnetic resonance spectra (1958)
Notable awards  FRS (1979) Royal Medal (2002)
Spouse  Anne-Marie Perinet-Marquet
Books  A handbook of nuclear, Spin choreography, Magnetic Resonance in Chemi, Wolf Hunter, Dartmouth and Its Neighbours

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Raymond Freeman FRS (born 6 January 1932) is a British chemist and Emeritus Professor at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he continues to work on NMR spectroscopy.


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Freeman was educated at Nottingham High School where he won an Open Scholarship to Lincoln College, Oxford in December 1949 and (at the instigation of Lincoln College) deferred his admission to Oxford to complete his military service in the Royal Air Force as a radar instructor, reaching the rank of acting corporal, un-paid.

In October 1951 he returned to Oxford and began his studies in Chemistry under the tutorship of Rex Richards, going on to do research in Rex's group on NMR of the less-common nuclei (in particular 59Co) and earning his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.


Joining the magnetic resonance group of Anatole Abragam at Saclay, France in 1957, Freeman did postdoctoral research under the direction of the NMR pioneer Robert Pound (on leave from Harvard) on the super-regenerative oscillator, and exploited that device to build a stable high-resolution NMR spectrometer.

Varian Associates, California

After three years at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, United Kingdom, in the Basic Physics Division, Freeman took leave of absence in 1961 to work on double irradiation techniques with Wes Anderson at Varian Associates in Palo Alto, California. This environment proved so stimulating that one year was extended to twelve, and the young family grew up as Californians; three children have now settled on the West Coast.

Along with research at Varian on double-resonance, double-quantum effects, spin-lattice relaxation, and Fourier transformation, Freeman assisted in the development of new Varian NMR spectrometers (XL-100 and CFT-20).

Back to Oxford

In 1973 Freeman returned to Oxford as University Lecturer and Fellow of Magdalen College, and started his own research group focused on high-resolution NMR methodology.

He received the degree of Doctor of Science in 1975 and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1979.

Boosted by the advent of some brilliant young Oxford research students, the group produced several publications on new NMR techniques, including two-dimensional NMR (triggered by the seminal suggestion of Jean Jeener in Brussels).

A Handbook of Magnetic Resonance

On a short sabbatical at Caltech in Pasadena Freeman published "A Handbook of Magnetic Resonance" (translated into Japanese and Russian).


In 1987 Freeman moved to the University of Cambridge to take up the Plummer chair of magnetic resonance, and was elected a Fellow of Jesus College. There he continued his research on NMR methodology and wrote a second book, "Spin Choreography".

Freeman took statutory retirement in 1999, but continued his research with a long-time colleague Eriks Kupce, and produced his third book, "NMR in Chemistry and Medicine", published in 2003, and later translated into Russian.

Awards and honours

Freeman was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1979, his nomination reads:

Freeman was also awarded the Royal Medal in 2002.

Personal life

In 1958 Freeman married Anne-Marie PĂ©rinet-Marquet (originally from Haute Savoie, France) and they now have five children, Dominique, Anne, Louise, Jean-Marc, and Lawrence.


Ray Freeman Wikipedia