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Kurt Alder

Kurt AlderBorn: 10-Jul-1902
Birthplace: Chorźow, Poland
Died: 20-Jun-1958
Location of death: Cologne, Germany
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Deutzer Cemetery, Cologne, Germany

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Diels-Alder Reaction

German chemist Kurt Alder studied under Otto Diels, and teacher and student shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1950, for their 1928 publication of the Diels-Alder reaction. This is a reaction of an alkene with a diene to create a cyclohexene, and it was a major breakthrough in 20th century science, allowing the manufacture of affordable synthetic steroids including cortisone, morphine, and reserpine, insecticides including aldrin and dieldrin, and numerous alkaloids and polymers. In 1943 he discovered the Alder ene reaction, a group transfer reaction between an alkene with an allylic hydrogen and compound with a multiple bond (the enophile), a technique widely exploited in chemical synthesis. He was born in Könighsuü, Germany, which became Chorźow, Poland after World War I, leading his family to relocate to remain within Germany.

Wife: Gertrud

    University: University of Berlin (attended 1922-23)
    University: PhD Chemistry, University of Kiel (1927)
    Professor: Chemistry, University of Kiel (1930-36)
    Professor: Experimental Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Cologne (1940-58)

    Emil Fischer Medal for Organic Chemistry 1938
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1950 (with Otto Diels)
    IG Farben Research Director (1936-40)
    German Physical Society
    German Ancestry
    Lunar Crater Alder (48.6° S, 177.4° W, 77 km. diameter)


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