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Obituary: Norman N. Lichtin '44

Norman N. Lichtin, 89, a professor of chemistry emeritus at Boston University, died on April 30, 2012.

Born in Newark, N.J., Lichtin earned a B.S. in chemistry from Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1944 (and where he was a member of the Antioch College Alumni Board); an M.S. in chemistry from Purdue University in 1945; and a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from Harvard University in 1948 under Paul D. Bartlett.

Lichtin then joined the Boston University faculty as a lecturer in 1947, rising through the ranks to become full professor in 1961, University Professor in 1973, and both emeritus professor of chemistry and Emeritus University Professor in 1993. Serving as chemistry department chair from 1973 to 1984, Lichtin was also director of the Boston University Center for Energy Studies from 1978 until 1979 and director of the Division of Engineering & Applied Science within Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences from 1983 until 1987.

Working in the field of physical organic chemistry, Lichtin studied electrolyte chemistry in liquid sulfur dioxide, radiation chemistry of organic and bioorganic systems, chemistry of active nitrogen, physical photochemistry, and photoassisted heterogeneous catalysis. He was credited with approximately 80 publications.

Lichtin was a visiting professor or visiting chemist at Brookhaven National Laboratory; Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel; Japan’s research institute, RIKEN, in Wako; and the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, in Calcutta. He served numerous corporations and hospitals as a consultant in nuclear medicine, solar energy, and photochemistry. Lichtin was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1943.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, whom he married in 1947; sons, Harold and Daniel; daughter, Sara; and six grandchildren.