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 outstanding trip from Budapest to Cleveland to Los Angeles-with a stopover in Stockholm, after all. An cutting edge scientist, George Olah is really one-of-a-kind, whose notable study into tremendous 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 educating in Hungary, to his circulate to North the US the place, in the course of his years in undefined, he persevered his examine of the elusive cations of carbon, to his go back to academia in Cleveland, and, ultimately, his movement to la, the place he equipped the Loker Hydrocarbon examine Institute to discover new suggestions to the grave challenge of the world's diminishing average oil and fuel assets and to mitigate worldwide warming through recycling carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels and items. Professor Olah invitations the reader to benefit from the tale of his extraordinary path-marked by way of exertions, mind's eye, and unending quests for discovery-which ultimately ended in the Nobel Prize. Intertwining his learn and educating with a special own writing type really 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 that means ofscience in our perpetual look for realizing and data.

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An indication of the talented people in this industry is reflected in the subsequent role Hungarian e´migre´s played in the movie industries of the United States and England. These were not limited to movie producers and executives (Adolf Zukor, Paramount Pictures; William Fox, 20th Century Fox; Sir Alexander Korda). Who would guess, considering the thickly accented English most Hungarians used to speak, that Leslie Howard’s (Professor Higgins in Pygmalion) mother tongue was this rather obscure and difficult language?

Metals absorbed it on calcination. In 1775 Lavoisier thought that oxygen was the pure element of air itself, free from ‘‘impurities’’ that normally contaminated it. Scheele, however, showed in 1777 that air consisted of two gases, oxygen (which supported combustion) and nitrogen (which was inert). Lavoisier accepted Scheele’s view and suggested in the next year that the atmosphere was composed of one-quarter oxygen and three-quarters nitrogen, a ratio that was subsequently corrected by Priestley to one-fifth oxygen and four-fifths nitrogen.

Science education at the same time in the post-Sputnik second half of the century started to lose some of its shine and cultural significance. It is difficult, however, to imagine how tall edifices can be built without proper foundations. The increasing interest in interdisciplinary studies frequently also puts premature emphasis on crossing different disciplines without first establishing solid foundations in them. Many learn readily the vocabulary and superficial aspects of a field but lack solid grounding and knowledge.

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