Awards & Winners

Harold Urey

Date of Birth 29-April-1893
Place of Birth Walkerton
(St. Joseph County, Indiana, Lincoln Township, United States of America)
Nationality United States of America
Also know as Harold Clayton Urey, Harold C. Urey
Profession Chemist, Physicist
Harold Clayton Urey was an American physical chemist whose pioneering work on isotopes earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1934 for the discovery of deuterium. He played a significant role in the development of the atom bomb, but may be most prominent for his contribution to theories on the development of organic life from non-living matter. Born in Walkerton, Indiana, Urey studied thermodynamics under Gilbert N. Lewis at the University of California. After he received his PhD in 1923, he was awarded a fellowship by the American-Scandinavian Foundation to study at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. He was a research associate at Johns Hopkins University before becoming an associate professor of Chemistry at Columbia University. In 1931, he began work with the separation of isotopes that resulted in the discovery of deuterium. During World War II Urey turned his knowledge of isotope separation to the problem of uranium enrichment. He headed the group located at Columbia University that developed isotope separation using gaseous diffusion. The method was successfully developed, becoming the sole method used in the early post-war period. After the war, Urey became professor of chemistry at the Institute for Nuclear Studies, and later Ryerson professor of chemistry at the University of Chicago.

Awards by Harold Urey

Check all the awards nominated and won by Harold Urey.


National Medal of Science for Physical Science
(For outstanding contributions to our understanding of the origin and evolution of the solar system and the origin of life on Earth and for pioneering work in the application of isotopes to the determination of the temperatures of ancient oceans.)


Nobel Prize in Chemistry
(for his discovery of heavy hydrogen.)