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William J. le Noble Papers

Collection Number
UA 2162

OCLC Number

William J. le Noble (1928- )

This collection was donated by William J. le Noble in April 2012.

Extent,Scope, and Content Note 
The collection is comprised of one cubic feet of publications and related materials created by William J. le Noble between 1958 and 2002. Subject coverage includes organic chemistry and related teaching materials.

Arrangement and Processing Note
The papers have been arranged in the original order maintained by William J. le Noble. The collection was processed by Kristen J. Nyitrayin April 2012. Updated April 2019.


Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to researchers without restriction.

Rights and Permissions 

Stony Brook University Libraries' consent to access as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication.  

[Item], [Box], William J. le Noble Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Historical Note
William Jacobus le Noble (1928- ) was born on July 19, 1928 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where he spent his early years. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Advanced Engineering School in Dordrecht in 1949. After emigrating in the same year, he served in the U.S. Army in Korea until 1953. Subsequently he attended the University of Chicago, where he graduated in 1957 with a thesis project supervised by the late Professor G.W. Wheland. After a postdoctoral stint with the late Professor N. Kornblum at Purdue, he joined the faculty at Stony Brook, which was then in its third year of operation. He is now Professor Emeritus of Chemistry; his service to the Department of Chemistry has included a term as chair, He is the author of 175 publications including several chapters, a graduate level text (Highlights of Organic Chemistry), two articles invited by the Encyclopedia of Science and Technology ("Resonance" and "Physical Organic Chemistry") and one by the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences ("Organic Reaction Mechanisms").

His two principal research interests have been the use of pressure as a tool in mechanistic investigations, and stereochemistry. He has served as Visiting Professor at the Universities of Amsterdam, Groningen and Len in the Netherlands, of Oulu in Finland and of Oita in Japan. He was awarded a Senior U.S. Scientist Award by the Humboldt Foundation in 1985 , and a Senior Scientist Award by Mombusho (Japan Ministry of Education and Science) in 1987. His colleagues in high-pressure chemistry both in the U.S. and abroad honored him recently with a Special Issue of the journal High Pressure Chemistry. He served as Senior Editor of the Journal of Organic Chemistry under Professor F.D. Greene from 1977-1988.

B.S., 1949, Chemical Engineering, Advanced Technical School, Dordrecht, the Netherlands; Ph.D., 1957, University of Chicago; Postdoctoral Research Associate, 1958, Purdue University; author, Highlights of Organic Chemistry; Senior Editor, Journal of Organic Chemistry, 1978-1989. 

Area of scholarship: "Our research in stereochemistry is concerned with electronic control of face selection. Whenever in an organic reaction a group or atom is added to a trigonal carbon atom and conversely, one is eliminated from a tetragonal atom, nature must decide at which face this addition or elimination will occur. Past studies of the factors controlling the outcome have been complicated and rendered uncertain by the fact that the probes used generally had sufficient conformational freedom to leave the results in doubt; however, steric effects clearly do influence them. To see the electronic factor, it is necessary not only to freeze out conformational flexibility but also to render the two faces sterically equivalent. The probes used in our studies, 5-substituted 2-adamantylidene derivatives, have this unique combination of qualities." 

Chemistry, Organic.
Activation (Chemistry)


Box 1
Biographical information
Photograph of Dr. William J. le Noble
Correspondence and assorted reference files

To view a complete list of publication files, please click here.
Publications numbered 1 through 129

Box 2
Publications numbered 130 to 159

Box 3
Publications numbered 160 to 175
"Lecture Notes," 1969 to 1970 for the courses Chemistry 101 and Chemistry 102