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About Ludo Frevel


Ludo held 60 patents and co-authored 446 technical papers, publishing his most recent paper at age 95. He was co-author with Hanawalt and Rinn on the famous 1938 paper, “Chemical Analysis by X-ray Diffraction”, was a world expert in catalysis, and was known for several innovations in the field of powder diffraction. He also wrote some of the first computer automated material identification software utilizing X-ray powder diffraction data. Ludo served as ICDD Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1990-1992.

“Later a postdoctoral fellow, Ludo K. Frevel, now a member of the Advisory Board of this journal (Powder Diffraction), determined the values of the principal axes of the compressibility ellipsoid for some crystals by a novel technique. He put a powder of the crystal, mixed with a standard powder with known

compressibility, in a tube with a capillary at one end, filled the tube with a liquid at low temperature, and sealed the tube. By warming the tube he could then obtain reasonably high pressures, and then from the powder pattern, with the pressure determined from the shift of the lines of the standard substance, he could measure the shifts for the substance under investigation to find the compressibility along the normals to the various planes in the crystal.”

By Linus Pauling, Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine, 440 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, California 94306

– Linus Pauling describing his first diffraction work at CalTech in the 1920’s. Powder Diffraction, Vol. 1, No. 1, March 1986. (Pauling won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962.)

LUDO K. FREVEL (1910-2011)

A gentleman and scientist, Ludo joined The Dow Chemical Company Spectroscopy Laboratory in 1936 and until retirement, was one of Dow’s top scientists. He was the first Dow scientist to have the title ‘Research Specialist’.

Scientific Patterns
Technical Papers
Age Last Published
Important Papers

  • A Technique for X-ray Studies of Substances Under High Pressures
    LK Frevel – Review of Scientific Instruments, 1935 – pdfserv.aip.org
  • Chemical Analysis by X-ray Diffraction
    JD Hanawalt, HW Rinn, LK Frevel – Industrial & Engineering, 1938 – ACS Publications
  • Chemical Analysis by Powder Diffraction
    LK Frevel – Industrial & Enginnering Chemistry Analytical Edition, 1944 – ACS Publications
  • Parafocusing Diffractometer
    LK Frevel- US Patent 4,247,771, 1981 – Google Patents
  • A New Focusing Method for X-ray Powder Spectroscopy
    LK Frevel – Review of Scientific Instruments, 1937 – link.aip.org
  • Structure-Sensitive Search-Match Procedure for Powder Diffractoin
    LK Frevel – Analyrical Chemistry, 1982 – ACS Publications
  • Automated measurement of Powder Diffraction Patterns
    LK Frevel – Analytical Chemistry, 1966 – ACS Publications
  • Computational Aids for identifying Crystalline Phases by Powder Diffractoin
    LK Frevel – Analytical Chemisty, 1965 – ACS Publications
  • A Fast Search-Match Program for Powder Diffraction Analysis
    LK Frevel, CE Adams, LR Ruhberg – Journal of Applied, 1976 – scripts.iucr.org