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Gerhard Ertl

Born 10 October 1936 (1936-10-10) (age 73)
Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Residence Germany
Nationality Germany
Fields Surface chemistry
Institutions Technical University of Hannover
Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Technical University of Munich
Free University of Berlin
Technical University of Berlin
Fritz Haber Institute of the MPG
Humboldt University of Berlin
Alma mater University of Stuttgart
Technical University of Munich
Doctoral advisor Heinz Gerischer
Known for Surface chemistry
Notable awards Wolf Prize in Chemistry (1998)
Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2007)

Gerhard Ertl (born 10 October 1936) is a German physicist and a Professor emeritus at the Department of Physical Chemistry, Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Berlin, Germany. He won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Contents

Biography

Ertl was born in Stuttgart, Germany where he would later study physics from 1955 to 1957 at the Technical University of Stuttgart and then at the University of Paris (1957–1958) and Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich (1958–1959). He completed his Diplom in Physics at the Technical University of Stuttgart in 1961, followed his thesis advisor Heinz Gerischer from the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart to Munich and received his Ph.D. degree from the Technical University of Munich in 1965.

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Academic career

After completing his PhD, he became an assistant and lecturer at Technical University of Munich (1965–1968). From 1968 to 1973, he was Professor and Director at Technical University of Hannover. Then, he became a Professor at Institute for Physical Chemistry, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich (1973–1986). During the 1970s and 80s, he was also a Visiting Professor at the California Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and the University of California, Berkeley. In 1986 he became professor at the Free University of Berlin and at the Technical University of Berlin. He was director at the Fritz Haber Institute of the MPG from 1986 till his retirement in 2004. He became professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin in 1996.[1]

Research

Gerhard Ertl is known for determining the detailed molecular mechanisms of the catalytic synthesis of ammonia over iron (Haber Bosch process) and the catalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide over platinum (catalytic converter). During his research he discovered the important phenomenon of oscillatory reactions on platinum surfaces and, using photoelectron microscopy, was able to image for the first time, the oscillating changes in surface structure and coverage that occur during reaction.

He always used new observation techniques like low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) at the beginning of his career, later ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and scanning tunneling microscope (STM) yielding ground breaking results. He won the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 1998 along with Gabor A. Somorjai of the University of California, Berkeley for "their outstanding contributions to the field of the surface science in general and for their elucidation of fundamental mechanisms of heterogeneous catalytic reactions at single crystal surface in particular."[2]

Gerhard Ertl was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces. The award, worth SEK 10 million (US$1.7 million, GB£1.15 million),was announced on Ertl's 71st birthday.[3][4] "I am speechless," Ertl told The Associated Press from his office in Berlin. "I was not counting on this."[5]

Personal life

Ertl and his wife Barbara have two children and several grandchildren. His hobbies include playing the piano and also playing with his cats. He is a Christian.[6]

Publications

Ertl is one of the editors of the Handbook of Heterogeneous Catalysis.

References

  1. ^ Freund, H.-J; Knözinger, H. (2004). "Foreword for the Gerhard Ertl Festschrift". J. Phys. Chem. B 108 (38): 14183–14186. doi:10.1021/jp049239i. http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/jpcbfk/2004/108/i38/html/jp049239i.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05.  
  2. ^ "The 2008 Wolf Foundation Prize in Chemistry". Wolf Foundation. http://www.wolffund.org.il/cat.asp?id=15&cat_title=CHEMISTRY. Retrieved 2008-06-05.  
  3. ^ Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (10 October 2007). "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2007". Press release. http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2007/press.html.  
  4. ^ Associated Press (11 October 2007). "Nobel for ozone layer scientist". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/10/10/nobel.chemistry.ap/index.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05.  
  5. ^ Karl Ritter (11 October 2007). "German receives chemistry Nobel". Worcester Telegram. http://www.telegram.com/article/20071011/NEWS/710110562/1052. Retrieved 2008-06-05.  
  6. ^ Till Weishaupt (Dezember 2007). "Glauben Sie an Gott?". Cicero. http://www.cicero.de/97.php?ress_id=6&item=2223. Retrieved 2008-06-05. "Translated from German: Oh, yes, I believe in god. (...) I am a Christian and I try to live as a Christian (...) I read the bible very often and I try to understand it."  

External links


Simple English

Professor Gerhard Ertl is a German physicist in the Department of Physical Chemistry of the Fritz Haber Institute of the MPG . He was born on October 10th 1936 in Stuttgart, Germany. Professor Ertl won the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 2007.

Contents

Personal life

Ertl and his wife Barbara have two children and several grandchildren. His hobbies include playing the piano and also playing with his cats.

Publications

Professor Ertl is an editor of the Handbook of Heterogeneous Catalysis

Education

Professor Ertl studied physics at the Technical University of Stuttgart from 1955 to 1957. He studied at the University of Paris from 1957 to 1958 and then at Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich from 1958 to 1959. He returned to the Technical University of Stuttgart where he got a diplom of physics in 1961. Then he studied at the Technical University of Munich and got a PhD in 1965.

Academic work

Work

After getting his PhD, he stayed in Munich as an assistant and a lecturer between 1965 and 1968. Then, he moved to the Technical University of Hannover where he worked as Professor and Director from 1968 to 1973. In 1973, Professor Ertl returned to the Ludwig Maiximillians University of Munich to work as a professor at the Institute of Physical Chemistry. He worked there until 1986 and during this time was a regular visitor to the California Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of California, in Berkeley where he worked as a visiting professor. In 1986, he became professor at the Free University of Berlin and the Technical University of Berlin. He was director at the Fritz Haber Institute of the MPG from 1986 and was also a professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin from 1996. Professor Ertl retired in 2004.

Studies

Professor Ertl studied the molecules of ammonia, iron, carbon monoxide and palladium to help make modern catalytic converters. He studied platinum to learn about its atoms.

Professor Ertl helped to develop new ways of using microscopes. One was called low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) used at the beginning of his career and later he worked on ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and scanning tunneling microscope (STM).

Awards

Professor Ertl and Gabor A. Somorjai won the Wolf Prize for Chemistry in 1998 for outstanding results in surface science and for discovering how crystals react to experiments.

Professor Ertl was awarded the Nobel prize for chemistry in 2007 for more studies of surface science.

References

  1. 8 The Wolf Foundation Prize in Chemistry. Wolf Foundation. (10-10-2007)
  2. Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (10-10-2007). The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2007. Press release.
  3. Associated Press. (10-10-2007) Nobel for ozone layer scientist. CNN. (10-10-2007)
  4. German receives chemistry Nobel. Associated Press. (18-10-2007)
  5. Profile: Nobel prize the perfect birthday present for Ertl. Deutsche Presse-Agentur. (10-10-2007)

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