Georg Wittig


Georg Wittig

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Georg Wittig
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1979

Born: 16 June 1897, Berlin, Germany

Died: 26 August 1987, Heidelberg, West Germany (now Germany)

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany

Prize motivation: “for their development of the use of boron- and phosphorus-containing compounds, respectively, into important reagents in organic synthesis”

Prize share: 1/2


During chemical reactions, molecules composed of atoms meet and form new compounds. Through chemical reactions, it is possible to synthesize chemical compounds in laboratories with molecules that do not exist in nature. In 1953 Georg Wittig discovered a reaction between a phosphorous carbon compound and another carbon compound that resulted in formation of a carbon compound with a least one double bond between carbon atoms. Among other things, biologically active compounds can be formed. For example, vitamin A can be produced by artificial means with the help of this reaction.

To cite this section
MLA style: Georg Wittig – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Fri. 2 Jun 2023. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Fourteen laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2022, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from paleogenomics and click chemistry to documenting war crimes.

See them all presented here.
Nobel Prizes 2022

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.