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Georg Wittig Ph.D.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1979
Nobel co-recipient Herbert C. Brown

Organic Chemist. Development of use of phosphorus into important reagents in organic synthesis. Wittig reaction. Mentored 300 graduate students, post-docs; provided close supervision for crucial experiments.

"Chemical research and mountaineering similar. To reach goal/summit, initiative, perseverance required. After hard work, great joy to be at goal/peak with its splendid panorama…"


1. "Chemical research and mountaineering have much in common. If the goal or the summit is to be reached, both initiative and determination as well as perseverance are required; but after the hard work, it is a great joy to be at the goal or the peak with its splendid panorama. However, especially in chemical research - as far as new territory is concerned - the results may sometimes be quite different: they may be disappointing or delightful. Looking back at my work in scientific research, I will confine this talk to the positive results."

2. "The excursion from diyls to ylides now ends at my idyll. With this I mean the conclusion of my research work as an emeritus, which allowed me to continue my work as a chemist free from the obligations of a teacher and finally to devote myself completely to my interest in fine arts."

Photo Wikipedia. Painting Tim Tompkins PaintHistory.com

Name: Georg Wittig
Birth: 16 June 1897, Berlin, Germany
Death: 26 August 1987, Heidelberg, West Germany (now Germany)
Institution:University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Federal Republic of Germany
Award: "for their development of the use of boron- and phosphorus-containing compounds, respectively, into important reagents in organic synthesis"
Subject: Organic chemistry
Portion of cash: 1/2
Honoring Georg Witting