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

By George A. Olah

The interesting autobiographical reflections of Nobel Prize winner George OlahHow did a tender guy who grew up in Hungary among the 2 international Wars move from cleansing rubble and relocating pianos on the finish of worldwide conflict II within the Budapest Opera condominium to profitable the Nobel Prize in Chemistry? George Olah takes us on a amazing trip from Budapest to Cleveland to Los Angeles-with a stopover in Stockholm, in fact. An cutting edge scientist, George Olah is really distinct, whose awesome examine into super powerful 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 numerous trips that George Olah has traveled-from his early learn and educating in Hungary, to his movement to North the USA the place, in the course of his years in undefined, he endured his learn of the elusive cations of carbon, to his go back to academia in Cleveland, and, eventually, his stream to l. a., the place he equipped the Loker Hydrocarbon examine Institute to discover new recommendations to the grave challenge of the world's diminishing normal oil and fuel assets and to mitigate international warming via recycling carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels and items. Professor Olah invitations the reader to benefit from the tale of his impressive path-marked via exertions, mind's eye, and endless quests for discovery-which ultimately ended in the Nobel Prize. Intertwining his examine and instructing with a distinct own writing variety really makes a lifetime of Magic Chemistry a fascinating learn. His autobiography not just touches on his exhilarating existence and pursuit for brand spanking new chemistry but additionally displays at the broader which means of technological know-how in our perpetual look for realizing and data.

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Johann Wolfgang Goethe is best known for his poetry and literature as the author of Faust. He himself, however, considered some of his major achievements to be in science. His interests were varied but also related to chemistry. He developed an early interest in alchemy, which, however, he overcame in later life. Goethe’s classic character Faust reflects his fascination with the alchemist’s effort to produce gold but eventually recognizes its futility and failure. Newton, one of the greatest physicists of all time, is said to have spent more time on his alchemist efforts and experimentation than on his physical studies.

It was a century later that I was able to show that carbon in some systems can also bind simultaneously five, six, or even seven atoms or groups, introducing the concept of hypercarbon chemistry (see Chapter 10). With the continued discovery of new elements in the nineteenth century, chemists started to group the elements together according to some empirical orders, which eventually developed into the Mendeleev periodic table. Mendeleev published his text, Principles of Chemistry, around 1870. Previously, Gerhardt had ordered most abundant chemistry around three typical molecules, H2, H2O, and NH3, to which Kekule´ added a fourth, CH4.

Growing up in Budapest between the two World Wars in a middleclass family provided a rather pleasant childhood. Budapest was and still is a beautiful city. It is the only major city on the Danube through which the river flows through its middle in its true majesty. You can be in Vienna without necessarily realizing that it is also located on the Danube, as the river flows only through the outskirts. Not in Budapest! The half-mile-wide river divides Budapest into the hilly side (Buda) and the flat city (Pest).

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