Bookmark and Share

Peter Wheatley (1921-1997)

Peter Jaffrey Wheatley, who died on May 12, 1997, had an influential and varied career in physical chemistry, crystallography and structural chemistry. His publications (more than 100 papers and 5 books), his editorial work for Acta Cryst, his teaching, and his classic text Molecular Structure, first published in 1959 and translated into 15 languages, make him a key figure in the development of the field of crystallography. He received a PhD in Physical Chemistry in Oxford, and was a Commonwealth Fellow at the U. of Minnesota. His distinguished crystallographic career began at the U. of Leeds, in 1951 where he wrote the first drafts of Molecular Structure. He worked for nine years at Monsanto in Zurich. Following a year as Visiting Professor in Tucson, Arizona, Peter returned to academic life in 1967, at the Dept. of Physical Chemistry at Cambridge where he ran an active research group, became a Fellow of Queen's College, and was renowned at both Departmental and College level for his teaching and lecturing. He served as British Co-Editor of Acta Cryst for 12 years. On his retirement Peter joined the Crystallographic Data Centre part-time as the Senior Database Editor. He was both a very private man, who delighted in his family and the progress of his grandchildren, and an engaging and humorous companion with an endless capacity to surprise. Many areas of life are the poorer for his passing.

Frank Allen, CCDC, June 1997.