Nobel Prize Award for Chemistry 1969 to 1974

About the Nobel Prize Award for Chemistry from 1969 to 1974 including the scientists Barton and Flory, their works, and history.


1969 Derek H. R. Barton (1918- ), British Odd Hassel (1897- ), Norwegian

Work: Development and application of the concept of conformation in chemistry

Nobel Laureates: Born in Gravesend, southeast of London, Barton earned his Ph.D. from London University's Imperial College of Science and Technology in 1942 and eventually joined the faculty of that college, where he has served as Hofman Professor of Organic Chemistry since 1970. His work has enabled chemists to construct accurate three-dimensional molecular models.

Hassel was born in Oslo. He picked up his doctorate at the University of Berlin in 1924 and 10 years later began teaching at the University of Oslo. He retired in 1964. A bachelor, Hassel has always been publicity-shy and today lives quietly in a villa near the Oslo campus.

Nobel Lore: The laureates had opposite reactions to the news that they were to split $73,000. Hassel, who was not well known even in his own country, seemed to be genuinely surprised. Barton, on the other hand, did not bat an eye. "Scientists usually know where they stand in the international pecking order," Barton explained. Hassel and one of the two economics laureates that year, Ragnar Frisch, are old friends. They spent the last two years of W.W. II together in a Nazi concentration camp near Oslo.

1970 Luis F. Leloir (1906- ), Argentinean (b. France)

Work: Discovery of sugar nucleotides, coenzymes which determine how well living things can store chemical energy

1971 Gerhard Herzberg (1904- ), Canadian (b. Germany)

Work: Research into the structure of molecules, especially those molecular fragments known as "free radicals"

1972 Christian B. Anfinsen (1916- ), American

Stanford Moore (1913- ), American

William H. Stein (1911- ), American

Work: Fundamental research in enzymes

1973 Geoffrey Wilkinson (1921- ), British

Ernst Fischer (1918- ), German

Work: Research into the so-called organometallic compounds (i.e., organic compounds harboring metal atoms) with a view to reducing the polluting effects of auto emissions

1974 Paul J. Flory (1910- ), American

Work: Research in polymer chemistry

Nobel Laureate: Born in Sterling, Ill., Flory took degrees from Manchester College and Ohio State University before joining the staff of Dr. Wallace Carothers, the father of nylon, at the Du Pont laboratories in Wilmington, Del. With Du Pont, and successively with Standard Oil of New Jersey, Goodyear Tire and Rubber in Akron, Pittsburgh's Mellon Institute, and, since 1961, Stanford University, Flory has maintained his interest in polymers--those substances which are made of supermolecules containing chains of smaller molecules. During the course of his decades of research, he discovered that growing molecules can yield their growth potential to other molecules while they themselves remain stagnant. He also found that polymers can be studied better at certain temperatures than at others. He called this ideal state the "theta temperature," but it came to be known as the Flory temperature. His work has been a boon to the synthetics industry. He resides in Portola Valley, Calif,. with his wife, Emily, and enjoys hiking, cycling, swimming, and golf.

Nobel Lore: When Dr. Flory's name was announced in Stockholm, one resident of that city was especially pleased--Paul J. Flory, Jr., the laureate's son, who as a biophysicist was employed at the Caroline Institute, the body which awards the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. The elder Flory was the only winner in 1974 not required to share the $124,000 prize.

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