Arthur AdamsonArthur Adamson, distinguished emeritus professor, died on July 22 at age 83. With a BS from Berkeley and PhD from Chicago, Arthur joined the USC faculty in 1946, after working as a research associate on the plutonium project at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was promoted to full Professor in 1953, and served as department Chair from 1972-75.

He was a serious and important participant in the University, and particularly in the Chemistry Department, where he supported the highest standards in both teaching and research. In 1979 he received USC’s Excellence in Teaching award and in 1984 the Raubenheimer Award as Outstanding Senior Faculty. He served as President of the USC chapter of the American Association of University Professors in 1951.

An inspirational teacher and prolific writer, Arthur is known for his Textbook of Physical Chemistry and his problem book Understanding Physical Chemistry. He received the American Chemical Society’s George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education in 1984. He was committed to mentoring and advancing the careers of his many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who remember fondly his support in the initial stages of their careers.

A brilliant and incisive researcher, Arthur was a pioneer in inorganic photochemistry, where his text Concepts of Inorganic Photochemistry has been an inspiration to workers in the field. In 1982 he received the American Chemical Society’s Distinguished Service Award in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry.

He is no less known as a leader in Surface and Colloid chemistry, where his text Physical Chemistry of Surfaces is in its sixth edition, and where he received the American Chemical Society’s Kendall Award in Surface and Colloid Chemistry in 1979. He served as the first editor of the journal Langmuir beginning in 1984.

He has been further recognized with the Tolman Medal of the Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemists’ Gold Medal, and the Monie Fest Award of Sigma Xi. In 1982 he was nominated to be President Elect of the American Chemical Society.

As an Emeritus Professor Arthur continued to serve the Department and University as a member of the Board of the Loker Hydrocarbon Institute.

Adamson is survived by his wife, Virginia, of San Diego, and by three daughters, Carol Powers, Janet Tice, and Jean Starr, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Published Obituaries and Tributes

Arthur Wilson Adamson, 1919-2003, Obituary, Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry, American Chemical Society

Arthur W. Adamson, Obituary, C&EN News

ACS Award in Surface Chemistry, first established as the Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry by Occidental Petroleum Corp. in 1991.

Read More

1966 Arthur Adamson, USC, Tolman Award, SCALACS

Arthur W. Adamson, at Wikipedia