Clinical Chemistry

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 battle II within the Budapest Opera apartment 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, in fact. An cutting edge scientist, George Olah is really unique, whose impressive examine into tremendous powerful acids and their new chemistry yielded what's now generally known as superacidic "magic acid chemistry."A lifetime of Magic Chemistry is an intimate examine the numerous trips that George Olah has traveled-from his early study and educating in Hungary, to his movement 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 stream to l. a., the place he outfitted the Loker Hydrocarbon learn Institute to discover new options to the grave challenge of the world's diminishing common 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 through labor, mind's eye, and unending quests for discovery-which finally resulted in the Nobel Prize. Intertwining his learn and educating with a special own writing kind actually makes a lifetime of Magic Chemistry a fascinating learn. His autobiography not just touches on his exhilarating existence and pursuit for brand new chemistry but additionally displays at the broader which means of technological know-how in our perpetual look for knowing and data.

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I graduated high school (gymnasium) right at the end of the war in the spring of 1945. We needed to pass a very tough two-day examination (matriculation or baccalaureate). This included, for example, translation of selected literature passages—without the help of a dictionary—not only from foreign languages (including Latin) into Hungarian, but also vice versa, not a minor effort. Having passed this 46 ࡗ A L I F E O F M A G I C C H E M I S T RY My brother Peter in 1943 barrier, it was time to think seriously about my future.

In the narrow sense of the word, alchemy is the pretended art of transmuting base metals such as mercury into the noble ones (gold and silver). Its realization was the goal up to the time of Paracelsus and even later. Alchemy in its wider meaning, however, stands for the chemistry of the middle ages. Alchemy thus in a sense focused and unified varied and diverse chemical efforts, which until that time were disconnected, and focused them on producing varied practical materials for human needs. Alchemy indeed can be considered an early phase of the development of systematic chemistry.

In all the early natural philosophies, there is the underlying idea that there was some primordial element or principle from which the universe was derived. It was perhaps Thales who in his doctrine first speculated that water was the prime element. Plato, in his Timotheus based on Aristotle, suggested that four elements made up all things in the universe: earth, water, air, and fire. These platonic elements were assigned characteristic geometric shapes. The elements were mutually transformable by breaking down their geometric shapes into those of the others.

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