Meredith Gwynne Evans

Meredith Gwynne Evans, FRS (2 December 1904 – 25 December 1952) was a British physical chemist, who made important theoretical contributions in the study of chemical reaction rates and reaction mechanisms. Together with Henry Eyring and Michael Polanyi, Meredith Gwynne Evans is one of the founders of the transition state theory.

Meredith Gwynne Evans
Born(1904-12-02)2 December 1904
Died25 December 1952(1952-12-25) (aged 48)
Alma materUniversity of Manchester
AwardsFellow of the Royal Society

Early life and education

Meredith Gwynne Evans was born in Atherton, a suburb of Manchester, on 2 December 1904 and the son of Frederick George Evans, an elementary schoolmaster, and his wife, Margaretta Eleanora Williams. He was the eldest son in a family of three sons and one daughter.

Evans attended the elementary school at which his father was Headmaster, won a County Scholarship to Leigh Grammar School, and was educated at the University of Manchester.[1]


Evans was appointed Assistant Lecturer at the University of Manchester from 1929 until 1939, when he became Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Leeds. His returned to the University of Manchester in 1949. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1947.[1]


His earliest research was on problems of adsorption of gases on chabazite and other zeolites.[2] Later on, he started working on theoretical chemistry and its link with quantum mechanics. In this research field, he worked with Douglas Hartree and Lawrence Bragg to apply quantum mechanics to chemical problems.

In 1933, M. G. Evans was awarded a Rockefeller Scholarship and went to Princeton to work with Hugh Taylor and Henry Eyring, amongst others. Back in Manchester, Evans became one of Michael Polanyi's principal coworkers on the development of the transition state theory. In 1935, with only one month difference, both Henry Eyring in Princeton,[3] and Michael Polanyi and Meredith Gwynne Evans in Manchester[4] published the founding papers on transition state theory, formulating what is now known as the "Eyring equation" which opened up a new era in the study of chemical kinetics.


Evans died on 25 December 1952 in Manchester.

See also


  1. C. E. H. Bawn, Hugh Taylor, Muriel Tomlinson and Harold Hartley, "Obituary notices: Meredith Gwynne Evans, 1904–1952; James William McBain, 1882–1953; Sydney Glenn Preston Plant, 1896–1955; Humphrey Rivaz Raikes, 1891–1955; Ralph William Ewart Stickings, 1895–1955", J. Chem. Soc., 1956, 1916-1924, doi:10.1039/JR9560001916
  2. M.G. Evans, "The Sorption Process in the Zeolite Chabazite, Royal Society Proceedings B, 1931, 109 (762), 308, doi:10.1098/rspb.1931.0083
  3. H. Eyring, "The activated complex in chemical reactions", J. Chem. Phys., 1935, 3, 107-115, doi:10.1063/1.1749604
  4. M.G. Evans, M. Polanyi, "Some applications of the transition state method to the calculation of reaction velocities, especially in solution", Trans. Faraday Soc., 1935, 31, 875-894, doi:10.1039/TF9353100875
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.