John Bannister Goodenough, the American co-inventor of Lithium-ion batteries and a co-winner of 2019 Nobel prize for Chemistry, has passed away. He was just a month short of turning 101.

Goodenough’s death has been confirmed to businessline by his student Nicholas Grundish.

British-American scientist Stan Whittingham, who shared the Nobel prize with Goodenough, was the first to reveal that lithium can be stored within sheets of titanium sulphide. Goodenough perfected it with a cobalt-based cathode to create a product that today touches nearly everyone’s life.

John Goodenough: The man who powered the lithium battery revolution
 
John Goodenough: The man who powered the lithium battery revolution
 

Goodenough also played a significant role in the development of Random Access Memory (RAM) for computers.

John Goodenough was born to American parents in Jena, Germany, per the Nobel Prize website. After studying mathematics at the Yale University, he served the US Army during the Second World War as a meteorologist.

He then studied at the University of Chicago and received a doctorate in physics in 1952. He subsequently worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Oxford University in the UK.

Then US President Barack Obama presenting the National Medal of Science award to John Goodenough at the White House in February, 2013.

Then US President Barack Obama presenting the National Medal of Science award to John Goodenough at the White House in February, 2013.
| Photo Credit: JASON REED

He had been a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

In 2008, Goodenough wrote his autobiography, Witness to Grace, which he called “my personal history”. The book touches upon science and spirituality.

businessline carried an article about Goodenough on July 10, 2022, just before the scientist turned 100.

Prof Preetham Singh of IIT-BHU, who was one of Goodenough’s students, recalls that the Nobel laureate was “a great soul, very humanistic, whose doors were always open to anyone for discussion, suggestion and help.”

Prof Ramasamy Murugan of the Pondicherry University, another of Goodenough’s Indian students, speaks highly of the Nobel laureate’s defining qualities — kindness, integrity, sense of humour and, above all, a unique laugh.

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