Marjorie Vold

VOLD, Marjorie, née Young, Canadian/American chemist, 1913-1991. Her career was spent mainly on the West Coast of the USA. As a colloids chemist, she researched soaps, films, suspensions, bubbles, sols, greases, liquid crystals, and biopolymers such as DNA. Often this was in collaboration with her husband, a chemist. Together they established a Centre for Surface and Colloid Chemistry at USC. In 1964 Marjorie was the senior author of their book ‘Colloid Chemistry: The Science of Large Molecules, Small Particles and Surfaces’. From 1958-74 Marjorie was a professor at USC. In 1967 she was awarded the Garvan Medal, in relation to her computer simulations of particulate phenomena. This was a theory of van der Waals interactions between non-homogeneous spheres, and the elucidation of phase transitions in soap-systems. From 1960 until her death, she was in a wheelchair but still managed her teaching schedules. In 1974, they both retired, but at the age of 78 she was still publishing results (although bedridden).

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