A Life of Magic Chemistry: Autobiographical Reflections of a by George A. Olah

By George A. Olah

The attention-grabbing autobiographical reflections of Nobel Prize winner George Olah

How did a tender guy who grew up in Hungary among the 2 international Wars pass from cleansing rubble and relocating pianos on the finish of worldwide conflict II within the Budapest Opera residence to profitable the Nobel Prize in Chemistry? George Olah takes us on a impressive trip from Budapest to Cleveland to Los Angeles-with a stopover in Stockholm, after all. An cutting edge scientist, George Olah is actually distinctive, whose notable examine into super robust acids and their new chemistry yielded what's now generally called superacidic "magic acid chemistry."

A lifetime of Magic Chemistry is an intimate examine the various trips that George Olah has traveled-from his early learn and instructing in Hungary, to his circulation to North the US the place, in the course of his years in undefined, he persisted his learn of the elusive cations of carbon, to his go back to academia in Cleveland, and, ultimately, his movement to l. a., the place he outfitted the Loker Hydrocarbon study Institute to discover new strategies to the grave challenge of the world's diminishing normal oil and fuel assets and to mitigate international warming by means of recycling carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels and items. Professor Olah invitations the reader to benefit from the tale of his notable path-marked via labor, mind's eye, and endless quests for discovery-which ultimately ended in the Nobel Prize. Intertwining his examine and educating with a different own writing variety actually makes A lifetime of Magic Chemistry an interesting learn. His autobiography not just touches on his exhilarating existence and pursuit for brand new chemistry but in addition displays at the broader which means of technological know-how in our perpetual look for realizing and knowledge.

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Extra resources for A Life of Magic Chemistry: Autobiographical Reflections of a Nobel Prize Winner

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In my time as a young faculty member at the Technical University I was the goalkeeper of the chemistry faculty team (a picture of which found its way onto the Swedish Academy Nobel poster published after my Prize). My wife still teases me on occasion that I was always a stellar student (she uses the more contemporary expression ‘‘nerd’’) and school valedictorian. Studying, however, always came easy for me, and I enjoyed it. I was (and still am) an avid reader. In my formative school years I particularly enjoyed the classics, literature, and history, as well as, later on, philosophy.

After going through some of the routine experiments described in the manual that came with the chemistry set, we boldly advanced to more interesting ‘‘individual’’ experiments. The result was an explosion followed by a minor fire and much smoke, which destroyed the chemistry set and ended the welcome for our experimentation. I cannot remember thinking much about chemistry thereafter, until I entered university. The outbreak of World War II in September 1939 initially affected our lives little. Hungary stayed out of the war until Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, when it was pressured to join Germany, with disastrous consequences.

The electronic theory of chemistry, particularly of organic chemistry, emerged, explaining the great richness of chemical observations and transformation, as expressed by Ingold, Robinson, Hammett, and many others following in their footsteps. The advent of nuclear chemistry of the twentieth century not only allowed the creation of scores of new radioactive elements but also gave an explanation for how the formation of hydrogen and helium after the initial big bang was followed by the formation of the other elements.

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