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Herbert Brown collecting Nobel Medal, 1979

Herbert Brown collecting Nobel Medal, 1979

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Herbert Brown (b.1912), US chemist and Nobel Laureate. Brown was born in London, but his family emigrated to Chicago in 1914. His education was difficult, but eventually secured a professorship at Purdue in 1947. His work covered the compounds of boron. He was the co-discoverer of sodium borohydride and pioneered its use in organic chemistry. He developed a simple way of making diborane, and how to add it to unsaturated organic molecules to make organoboranes. This group of chemicals are invaluable in organic synthesis, using a reaction called hydroboration. Brown is seen here collecting the medal of his Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1979.

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