April 23rd 2015
Rosalind Franklin was born on July 25,1920 in Notting Hill London, England. United kingdom. She is the second of five children in a AngloJewish family. In her early years she showed exceptional scholastic abilities, at the age of 9 she attended St. Paul’s Girls school. Which was one of the few schools that would teach Physics and Chemistry to girls.Franklin learned German and became fluent in French. At the age of 15 she knew she wanted to be a scientist. Rosalind's father also wanted to be a scientist but World War I cut his education short unfortunately, since it was very difficult for women to pursue in becoming a scientist her father encourage Rosalind to become a social worker, she continued on the path to becoming a scientist instead. In 1938, Franklin left St. Paul’s and entered Newnham College, which was one of two women colleges at Cambridge University and, majored in physical chemistry. However; during her undergraduate years her courses were partially changed due to the fact that World War II cause many science instructors to leave to do War work. In one of Franklin’s letter she noted “Practically the whole Cavendish have disappeared. Biochemistry was almost entirely run by the Germans and may not survive”.Cambridge took in a number of war refugees including French scientist Adrienne Weill, who became Franklin’s mentor and friend. In 1941 Franklin received her bachelor degree, she was also awarded a research scholarship to do graduate work, and a research grant from the
Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.She spent a year in the laboratory on R. G. W. Norrish which had photochemistry.
In 1942, World War II was still going on, Franklin had to decided whether to continue on War work or pursue a PhDoriented research job in a field relevant to wartime needs. She chose the latter and She went on to work as an assistant research officer at the British Coal Utilisation Research Association. BCURA was where she studied the porosity of coal, which was the basis of her Ph.D thesis Franklin worked to clarify the microstructure of various coals and carbons, any explain why some were more permeable by water, gases, or solvents and how heating and carbonization affected permeability. In the original work, she found that the pores in coal have fine constrictions at the molecular level, which increase heating. This work yielded a doctoral thesis ” The
physical chemistry of solid organic colloids with special reference to coal. ” She received
her PhD from Cambridge in 1945.
After the war, Franklin began searching for different. Her friend Adrienne Weill returned from france and helped her get a position in Jacques Mering’s lab. In 1946, Franklin was appointed at the Laboratoire Central des Services Chimiques de L'Etat in Paris, where she spent three years and worked with Jacques Mering, he taught her Xray diffraction. Becoming very skilled with this technique, her work detailing the structure of graphitizing and nongraphitizing carbons helped form the basis for the development of Carbon fibers and new heatresistant materials, and earned her a reputation among coal chemists. Also, Xray diffraction will play a role into her discovery of the structure of DNA. Although she was happy in France, Franklin began searching a position in England
in 1949. Her friend Charles Coulson, a theoretical chemist, suggested she look into doing ...
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