John S. Waugh
Wolf Prize Laureate in Chemistry 1984
John S. Waugh
Affiliation at the time of the award:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
“for his fundamental theoretical and experimental contributions to high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in solids”.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy has made a singular contribution to chemistry in theory, structure and dynamics of molecules in liquids and solids. This is reflected in the choice of the recipients of the Wolf Prize in Chemistry for 1984.
Professor John S. Waugh extended the use of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy from liquids to solids. He succeeded to sharpen the spectrum in solids, which is naturally broad and diffuse, by effectively averaging the spin Hamiltonian, using special combinations of externally oscillating fields. His studies have significantly deepened the physical and theoretical insights into the nature of the spin Hamiltonian and its role in nuclear magnetic resonance. In particular his method for enhancing the signal of diluted spins in the presence of abundant ones became extremely useful for carbon thirteen nuclear magnetic resonance in organic solids, where polarization transfer from the abundant protons to the rare carbon spins occurs, while at the same time broadening effects are eliminated.