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Richard Robert Ernst (born 14 August 1933) is a Swiss physical chemist and Nobel Laureate.[2]

Richard Ernst
Richard R Ernst.jpg
Richard R. Ernst in 2009
Richard Robert Ernst

(1933-08-14) 14 August 1933 (age 86)
Alma materETH Zurich (PhD)
Known forErnst angle
Fourier transform NMR spectroscopy
2D NMR spectroscopy/Nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy/Exclusive correlation spectroscopy
3D NMR spectroscopy
Scientific career
ThesisKernresonanz-Spektroskopie mit stochastischen Hochfrequenzfeldern (1962)

Born in Winterthur, Switzerland, Ernst was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1991 for his contributions towards the development of Fourier transform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy[3] while at Varian Associates, Palo Alto and the subsequent development of multi-dimensional NMR techniques.[4][5][6][7][8] These underpin applications to both to chemistry with NMR spectroscopy and to medicine with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).[1]


Ernst received both his diploma in chemistry in 1957 and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1962[9] from ETH Zurich.[10]

Awards and honoursEdit

Richard R. Ernst, UNESCO 2011

Ernst is a foreign fellow of the Estonian Academy of Sciences (elected 2002)[11] and Bangladesh Academy of Sciences.[12] He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1993.[1] He was awarded the John Gamble Kirkwood Medal in 1989.[citation needed] The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1991 was awarded to Richard R. Ernst "for his contributions to the development of the methodology of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy" [13] A strong proponent of Ernst's nomination was the long-time Danish colleague and member of the Nobel Committee Professor Børge Bak.

He holds Honorary Doctorates from the Technical University of Munich and University of Zurich.[citation needed]

Ernst is member of the World Knowledge Dialogue Scientific Board. Ernst was awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize of Columbia University in 1991.[14] He was also awarded the Tadeus Reichstein Medal in 2000[15] and the Order of the Star of Romania in 2004.[16]

The 2009 Bel Air Film Festival featured the world premiere of a documentary film on Ernst Science Plus Dharma Equals Social Responsibility. Produced by Carlo Burton, the film takes place in Ernst's hometown in Switzerland.[17]


  1. ^ a b c "Professor Richard Ernst ForMemRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-10-11.
  2. ^ Alger, J R (1992). "The 1991 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded to an MRI investigator". Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography. 16 (1): 1–2. doi:10.1097/00004728-199201000-00001. PMID 1729287.
  3. ^ Aue, W. P. (1976). "Two-dimensional spectroscopy. Application to nuclear magnetic resonance". The Journal of Chemical Physics. 64 (5): 2229–2246. Bibcode:1976JChPh..64.2229A. doi:10.1063/1.432450. ISSN 0021-9606.
  4. ^ Freeview video interview with Richard Ernst by the Vega Science Trust
  5. ^ Interview with Professor Richard R. Ernst by Joanna Rose, science writer, 8 December 2001.
  6. ^ The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1991
  7. ^ Ernst Autobiography at
  8. ^ Ernst, Richard, R. "Richard R. Ernst". Retrieved July 18, 2015.
  9. ^ Ernst, Richard R. (1962). Kernresonanz-Spektroskopie mit stochastischen Hochfrequenzfeldern (PhD thesis). Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. doi:10.3929/ethz-a-000091764.
  10. ^ Prof. Dr. Richard R. Ernst, ETH Zurich Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, (Retrieved April 18, 2016)
  11. ^ Estonian Academy of Sciences, Membership
  12. ^ List of Fellows of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences Archived 2010-04-15 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1991". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 10 Nov 2015. <>
  14. ^ The Official Site of Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize
  15. ^ "Reichstein Medal | Swiss Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences SAPhS". Retrieved 2017-04-02.
  16. ^ "DECRET 18 16/01/2004 - Portal Legislativ".
  17. ^ "Film Festival Ticker". Archived from the original on 2009-11-11.