Ernst, Richard 1933–, Swiss chemist. He worked as a research scientist from 1963 until 1968 in Palo Alto, Calif., before becoming a professor in Zürich. He was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in refining nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy (see magnetic resonance). His refinements made NMR spectroscopy, which is an important technique of chemical analysis, up to 100 times more sensitive and has allowed the precise analysis of biological molecular structures.
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