A Life of Magic Chemistry: Autobiographical Reflections of a Nobel Prize Winner
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How did a young man who grew up in Hungary between the two World Wars go from cleaning rubble and moving pianos at the end of World War II in the Budapest Opera House to winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry? George Olah takes us on a remarkable journey from Budapest to Cleveland to Los Angeles-with a stopover in Stockholm, of course. An innovative scientist, George Olah is truly one of a kind, whose amazing research into extremely strong acids and their new chemistry yielded what is now commonly known as superacidic "magic acid chemistry."
A Life of Magic Chemistry is an intimate look at the many journeys that George Olah has traveled-from his early research and teaching in Hungary, to his move to North America where, during his years in industry, he continued his study of the elusive cations of carbon, to his return to academia in Cleveland, and, finally, his move to Los Angeles, where he built the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute to find new solutions to the grave problem of the world's diminishing natural oil and gas resources and to mitigate global warming by recycling carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels and products. Professor Olah invites the reader to enjoy the story of his remarkable path-marked by hard work, imagination, and never-ending quests for discovery-which eventually led to the Nobel Prize. Intertwining his research and teaching with a unique personal writing style truly makes A Life of Magic Chemistry an engaging read. His autobiography not only touches on his exhilarating life and pursuit for new chemistry but also reflects on the broader meaning of science in our perpetual search for understanding and knowledge.