Morris Travers

1872-1961

Morris Travers was an English chemist who discovered xenon, neon and krypton with Sir William Ramsay.

In 1920 he became involved with high-temperature furnaces and fuel technology, including the gasification of coal.

Travers helped Ramsay to determine the properties of the newly discovered gases argon and helium. They also heated minerals and meteorites in the search for further gases, but found none. Then in 1898 they obtained a large quantity of liquid air and subjected it to fractional distillation. Spectral analysis of the least volatile fraction revealed the presence of krypton. They examined the argon fraction for a constituent of lower boiling point, and discovered neon. Finally xenon, occurring as an even less volatile companion to krypton, was identified spectroscopically. Travers continued his researches in cryogenics and made the first accurate temperature measurements of liquid gases. He also helped to build several experimental liquid air plants in Europe.

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