He became an assistant professor in 1907, associate professor in 1908, and full professor in 1911.
In 1926, Lewis coined the term "photon" for the smallest unit of radiant energy. After Lewis' death, his children followed their father's career in chemistry. Additionally, the wing of the new Weymouth High School Chemistry department has been named in his honor.
He was a brother in Alpha Chi Sigma, the professional chemistry fraternity. Lewis was born in 1875 and raised in Weymouth, Massachusetts, where there exists a street named for him, G. Lewis received his primary education at home from his parents, Frank Wesley Lewis, a lawyer of independent character, and Mary Burr White Lewis. in 1899 with a dissertation on electrochemical potentials.
Although Lewis’ fugacity-based system did not last, his early interest in free energy and entropy proved most fruitful, and much of his career was devoted to making these useful concepts accessible to practical chemists.
At Harvard, Lewis also wrote a theoretical paper on the thermodynamics of blackbody radiation in which he postulated that light has a pressure.
Most chemists relied on the familiar thermodynamics of heat (enthalpy) of Berthelot, Ostwald, and Van’t Hoff, and the calorimetric school.
Heat of reaction is not, of course, a measure of the tendency of chemical changes to occur, and Lewis realized that only free energy and entropy could provide an exact chemical thermodynamics.In 1893, after two years at the University of Nebraska, Lewis transferred to Harvard University, where he obtained his B. A friend of Nernst's, Wilhelm Palmær (Swedish), was a member of the Nobel Chemistry Committee.There is evidence that he used the Nobel nominating and reporting procedures to block a Nobel Prize for Lewis in thermodynamics by nominating Lewis for the prize three times, and then using his position as a committee member to write negative reports.In 1904 Lewis was granted a leave of absence and became Superintendent of Weights and Measures for the Bureau of Science in Manila, Philippines.The next year he returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) appointed him to a faculty position, in which he had a chance to join a group of outstanding physical chemists under the direction of Arthur Amos Noyes. After receiving his Ph D in chemistry from Harvard University and studying abroad in Germany and the Philippines, Lewis moved to California to teach chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.