Frank Sherwood Rowland

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Frank Sherwood Rowland (2008)

Frank Sherwood Rowland , called Sherwood Rowland, (born June 28, 1927 in Delaware , Ohio ; † March 10, 2012 in Newport Beach , California ) was an American chemist and Nobel Prize laureate in chemistry who, among other things, researched the ozone layer and its destruction .


Frank Sherwood Rowland was the second of three sons to a math professor at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. He started school at the age of five and skipped fourth grade. At the age of 12 he was able to begin high school education, which he completed shortly before his 16th birthday in 1943. He was too young to do military service, so he began studying at Ohio Wesleyan University. It was not until 1945 that he was drafted into the US Navy , but no longer took part in the combat operations of World War II . He was discharged from the Navy after 14 months and continued his studies at Ohio Wesleyan University, majoring in chemistry, physics and mathematics. He completed his studies in 1948 with a bachelor's degree . In the fall of 1948, Rowland began studying for a Masters in the chemistry department at the University of Chicago . As a mentor, he was assigned Willard Libby , whose working group he joined. In 1951 he received his master's degree , in August 1952 he received his doctorate from Libby on the chemistry of radioactive bromine atoms generated in the cyclotron .

In June 1952 he married Joan Lundberg, who was also a graduate of the University of Chicago. The couple moved to California, where Rowland took up a position as a lecturer in the chemistry department. A daughter was born in 1953 and a son in 1955. During the summer of 1953 to 1955, Rowland worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory , where he developed a process for making tritium- labeled glucose . In 1956 he took up a position as assistant professor at the University of Kansas, where his group also dealt with the chemistry of tritium. During the eight years in Kansas, he received a professorship there. In August 1964 Rowland became a professor at the that are available in Foundation University of California, Irvine , and the dean of the faculty appointed for chemistry. He held the position of dean until 1970. In Irvine he continued his research in the field of photochemistry with radioactive tritium and 14 C tracers. Later he also dealt with the chemistry of chlorine and fluorine , whereby the radioactive isotopes 38 Cl and 18 F were used.

In January 1972 he heard a lecture by James Lovelock on measurements of the trace gas trichlorofluoromethane during an Antarctic expedition. From 1973 Rowland began to turn more and more to atmospheric chemistry. In 1973 Mario J. Molina joined Rowland's group as a post-doctoral student . He and Rowland studied the breakdown of fluorocarbons in the atmosphere. In June 1974, an article by Molina and Rowland appeared in the journal Nature , in which they first referred to the degradation of the ozone layer catalyzed by chlorofluorocarbons . The resulting hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic was first detected in 1985. The ozone-depleting CFCs were banned under the 1987 Montreal Protocol .

Frank Sherwood Rowland suffered from Parkinson's disease as a result of which he died at the age of 84.



Web links

Commons : Frank Sherwood Rowland  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Nobel laureate in chemistry Rowland has died. Retrieved March 12, 2012 .
  2. ^ F. Sherwood Rowland - Autobiography , accessed March 12, 2012.
  3. Mario J. Molina, F. Sherwood Rowland: Stratospheric sink for chlorofluoromethanes: chlorine atom-catalysed destruction of ozone , Nature 249, pp. 810-812, June 28, 1974, doi : 10.1038 / 249810a0
  4. ^ F. Sherwood Rowland, Cited Aerosols' Danger, Is Dead at 84 , March 12, 2012.