Oct 11, 2007

Gerhard Ertl won Nobel in Chemistry

On Wednesday, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the 2007 Nobel for Chemistry. Gerhard Ertl, a German scientist whose studies of chemical reactions on solid surfaces have affected agriculture, manufacturing and environmental science won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Gerhard Ertl is a professor at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin. He received the $1.5 million prize for pioneering work in surface chemistry, which has applications across a broad array of fields. It helps explain the processes in manufacturing computer chips, in the function of automobiles' catalytic converters and on the surface of stratospheric ice crystals that have implications for global warming.

The prize was announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Ertl's 71st birthday, and he said in remarks broadcast from Stockholm that winning the prize "is the best birthday present that you can give to somebody." He was born in 1936 in Bad Cannstadt, Germany.


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