Ronald Gillespie Essay

It’s been over fifty years since Ronald Gillespie first proposed the basic idea of the VSEPR (Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion) theory. Since then he has been making great contributions to the world of chemistry. Ronald J Gillespie was born August 21, 1924 in London England. He attended the University of London graduating with his B. Sc in 1945, and a PH. D in 1949. After graduating, he became an Assistance Lecturer and then a Lecturer in the chemistry department.

He moved to Canada in 1958, where he became a professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Developed in 1957 with Ronal Nyholm, Gillespie has done extensive work on expanding the idea of the VSEPR model of molecular geometry. The theory they created is much more effect to predict, explain and describe the 3D molecular shapes (linear, pyramidal, cubical etc. ) based on the number of electron pairs that are found on the outer shell. Their theory is based on electron repulsion of bonded and unbonded electron pairs.

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Giving Gillespie’s interest in chemical education, he had originally developed the VSEPR theory as an aid for teaching. He has been recognized for his work by The Manufacturing Chemists’ College Chemistry, Chemical Institute of Canada and the McMaster Student’s Union. Gillespie retired in 1989, but still continues his research. He is determined to understand the exceptions to the VSEPR model. Together with his student is researching full time to meet his goal.

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