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Karl Ziegler

Karl ZieglerBorn: 26-Nov-1898
Birthplace: Helsa, Germany
Died: 12-Aug-1973
Location of death: Mülheim, Germany
Cause of death: Illness

Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Researcher in plastics

German scientist Karl Ziegler researched the chemical reactions involved in synthesizing rubber. In 1953 he developed a chemical process for production of polymerization, and the following year with Giulio Natta he developed a series of catalysts (organometallic mixtures) for production of much stronger and more melting-resistant plastic. Ziegler and Natta shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Their Ziegler-Natta catalyst system is used to control how simple hydrocarbons are polymerized into large molecule substances, and has allowed the development of modern molded and industrial plastics. Ziegler also conducted important studies of free-radicals and multi-membered rings. In his childhood, Emil von Behring was a family friend and frequent dinner guest of the Zieglers.

Father: Karl Ziegler (Christian minister)
Mother: Luise Rall Ziegler
Wife: Maria Kurtz (m. 1922)
Daughter: Marianna Ziegler Witte (physician)
Son: Erhart Ziegler (physicist)

    University: BS Organic Chemistry, University of Marburg (1920)
    University: PhD Chemistry, University of Marburg (1923)
    Lecturer: Chemistry, University of Frankfurt (1923-26)
    Lecturer: Chemistry, University of Heidelberg (1926-36)
    Professor: Chemistry, University of Halle (1936-)
    Administrator: Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim, Germany (1943-69)
    Scholar: Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim, Germany (1969-73)

    Justus von Liebig Medal 1935
    Carl Duisberg Medal 1953
    Lavoisier Medal 1955
    Carl Engler Medal 1958
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1963 (with Giulio Natta)
    Werner von Siemens Ring 1960 (with Otto Bayer and Walter Reppe)
    Grand Federal Cross of Merit 1969
    German Chemical Society Founding Member, 1949
    German Society for Petroleum Science and Coal Chemistry President, 1954-57
    Royal Society Foreign Member, 1971

Author of books:
Vielgliedrige Ringsysteme (Many-Jointed Ring Systems) (1933)

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