Submitted by Maggie Geselbracht / Reed College on Sun, 01/27/2008 - 18:08
My Notes

This is a list of Nobel Prizes that in my opinion were either in Inorganic Chemistry or in an area that has impacted Inorganic Chemistry.  I pass this out to students on the first day of class when we are talking very generally about what inorganic chemistry is all about.  This could be extended into a longer discussion at this point or at a later point on one or more of the prizes.  For example, later in the semester I have them read the Nobel Prize address of Alfred Werner.  This helps to inform their lab work and introduces coordination chemistry, which we have not yet discussed in lecture.

Related activities
Time Required
Less than one class period


Evaluation Methods

I usually do not assess this in any formal way.

Evaluation Results

When I ask my 2nd year students to name any Nobel Prizes they know of that deal with inorganic chemistry, typically nobody can think of any Nobel Prizes, except maybe Marie Curie.

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Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College

I also include these on my list (I'm just a more inclusive inorganic chemist I guess.)

1995  The prize was awarded jointly to:  PAUL CRUTZEN , MARIO MOLINA , and F. SHERWOOD ROWLAND for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the  formation and decomposition of ozone.
1992  RUDOLPH A. MARCUS for his contributions to the theory of electron transfer reactions in chemical systems.
1981  The prize was awarded jointly to:  KENICHI FUKUI and ROALD HOFFMANN for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions.
1979  The prize was divided equally between:  HERBERT C. BROWN and GEORG WITTIG for their development of the use of boron- and phosphorus-containing compounds, respectively,  into important reagents in organic synthesis.
1944  OTTO HAHN for his discovery of the fission of heavy nuclei.
1935  The prize was awarded jointly to:  FRÉDÉRIC JOLIOT and IRÈNE JOLIOT-CURIE in recognition of their synthesis of new radioactive elements.
1931  The prize was awarded jointly to:  CARL BOSCH and FRIEDRICH BERGIUS in recognition of their contributions to the invention and  development of chemical high pressure methods.
1922  FRANCIS WILLIAM ASTON for his discovery, by means of his mass spectrograph, of isotopes, in a large number of non-radioactive  elements, and for his enunciation of the whole-number rule.
1921  FREDERICK SODDY , for his contributions to our knowledge of the chemistry of radioactive substances, and his investigations into the origin  and nature of isotopes.
1912  The prize was divided equally between:  VICTOR GRIGNARD for the discovery of the so-called Grignard reagent, which in recent years has greatly advanced the progress of organic  chemistry  and  PAUL SABATIER for his method of hydrogenating organic compounds in the presence of finely disintegrated metals whereby the progress of  organic chemistry has been greatly advanced in recent years.
1903 SVANTE AUGUST ARRHENIUS in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered to the advancement of chemistry by his electrolytic theory of dissociation

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