Richard Newland Dixon: 25 December 1930—25 May 2021

Michael N R Ashfold*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Richard Newland Dixon began his independent scientific career as a molecular spectroscopist in Sheffield, where he demonstrated new ways to measure, analyse and interpret the electronic spectra of small gas phase species. He later moved to the chair of theoretical chemistry at the University of Bristol, where he embraced new experimental methods, particularly techniques enabled by continuous wave and pulsed lasers, and honed his theoretical skills in angular momentum algebra and time-dependent quantum mechanics. This blend of experimental and theoretical expertise allowed him to make pioneering contributions in the field of gas phase molecular photodissociation dynamics. Richard will be remembered as a polite and modest man, and a very sharp scientist. Among his many lasting scientific achievements, he will be remembered for developing strategies for determining state-resolved correlations between the vectorial properties of the products of molecular photofragmentation processes, and for being one of the first to recognize the near ubiquitous importance of non-adiabatic couplings between potential energy surfaces in rationalizing the dynamics of such dissociations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-175
Number of pages19
JournalBiographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society
Early online date1 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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