Bob McDonald, co-author with Paul Wilks of the first JCAMP-DX standard for infrared spectroscopy, sadly passed away recently following a short illness. One key aspect of their work was to be the location of a supply of high-purity natural sodium chloride crystals from the Soviet Union to replace the natural rock salt which suffered from impurities. The first delivery arrived in New York immediately before the start of World War Two and the ship delivering the cargo was in great haste to return to its home port as soon as possible. Bob was one of the pioneers in infrared spectroscopy graduating from the University of Maine in Engineering Physics at the start of the Second World War, Bob went to work at the Stamford Research Laboratories of the American Cyanamid Company and was involved with the development of one of the first commercial infrared spectrometers, the Perkin-Elmer Model 12. The development of what became the Model 12 was driven by the need for synthetic rubber during World War II as the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies and Malaya had stopped the supply of natural rubber.
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|Published - Oct 2012