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Anna J Harrison

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  • Anna Jane Harrison was born into a farm family in Missouri in 1912, December 23.
  • Anna as a student always enjoyed chemistry and science, due to this she pursued science in college.
  • She went on to college at the University of Missouri getting a degree in chemistry and education. 
  • She was a teacher before going back to the University of Missouri to earn a master’s degree and then a PhD in physical chemistry
  • Harrison used spectroscopy to find the molecular structures of compounds. She used a technique called flash photolysis to study chemical reactions. In flash photolysis molecules in the gas phase are first exposed to a strong flash of laser light. The light causes the molecules to break apart, and their atoms reassemble in different ways to create new molecules.
  • She served on the National Science Board, which advises the president and Congress on science police, and the ACS, first chairing its Division of Chemical Education and eventually, in 1978, becoming its first woman president.
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