George A. Olah

Facts

George A. Olah

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George A. Olah
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1994

Born: 22 May 1927, Budapest, Hungary

Died: 8 March 2017, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Prize motivation: “for his contribution to carbocation chemistry”

Prize share: 1/1

Work

Chemical reactions in which molecules composed of atoms collide and form new compounds represent one of nature’s fundamental processes. Carbocations are electrically charged molecules in which the charge is concentrated on one carbon atom. They play an important role as intermediate stages in chemical reactions and have very short life spans. At the beginning of the 1960s, George Olah used very strong acids to produce carbocations in solution with life spans long enough so they could be studied.

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