Mario Molina Pasquel Y Henríquez

Mario J. Molina

Biographical

*
I to visit elementary school y high college in Mexico City. I was currently fascinated by science before entering high school; i still remember my excitement when i first glanced in ~ paramecia and amoebae through uno rather primitive toy microscope. I then converted ns bathroom, seldom provided by ns family, into un laboratory and spent hrs playing con chemistry sets. With ns help of one aunt, Esther Molina, who was ns chemist, i continued con more an overwhelming experiments along the lines the those carried out by freshman chemistry college student in college. Keeping con our family tradition of sending out their niños abroad for ns couple of years, y aware the my interest in chemistry, identificación was sent to uno boarding institution in Switzerland when me gustaría was 11 years old, on los assumption that german was crucial language for a prospective chemist come learn. I remember i was dazzling to go to Europe, yet then me gustaría was disappointed in that my european schoolmates had no more attention in scientific research than my mexico friends. Me gustaría had already decided in ~ that hora to become a research chemist; earlier, me gustaría had serious contemplated ns possibility of pursuing ns career in musical – identificación used to juego the violin in those days. In 1960, i enrolled in the chemical design program in ~ UNAM, as this to be then ns closest way to become a physical chemist, taking math-oriented process not available to chemistry majors.

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After finishing mine undergraduate research studies in Mexico, me gustaría decided come obtain uno Ph.D. Degree in physical chemistry. This was not straightforward task; although mine training in chemical design was good, it was weak in mathematics, physics, as well as in various locations of straightforward physical chemistry – subjects such as quantum mechanics were entirely alien come me in those days. In ~ first me gustaría went come Germany and enrolled at los University that Freiburg. After spending nearly dos years doing research in kinetics the polymerizations, me gustaría realized that identificación wanted to have hora to research various simple subjects in bespeak to broaden my background and to discover other research areas. Thus, me gustaría decided to seek admission to un graduate routine in los United States. When pondering my future plans, me gustaría spent number of months in Paris, where me gustaría was able come study mathematics on my own y I additionally had ns wonderful time discussing all sorts the topics, ranging from politics, philosophy, to ns arts, etc., con many good friends. Subsequently, identificación returned to Mexico as an Assistant Professor at los UNAM and I collection up the first graduate program in chemical engineering. Finally, in 1968 I left for los University that California at Berkeley to seek my graduate studies in physics chemistry.

During my very first year in ~ Berkeley, identificación took courses in physics and mathematics, in addition to the required process in physical chemistry. Identificación then joined ns research coporación, grupo of Professor george C. Pimentel, con the objetivo of examining molecular dynamics making use of chemical lasers, which were uncovered in his group a few año earlier.

George Pimentel to be also uno pioneer in ns development of matrix isolation techniques, i m sorry is widely offered in los study of ns molecular structure y bonding of transient species. That was fantastic teacher y a exorbitant mentor; his warmth, enthusiasm, and encouragement provided me with inspiration to seek important scientific questions.

My graduate job-related involved los investigation of los distribution of internal power in los products that chemical y photochemical reactions; chemical lasers were well suited as tools for such studies. At the beginning identificación had little experience con the experimentar techniques required for mine research, such as taking care of vacuum lines, infrared optics, digital instrumentation, etc. Identificación learned lot of this representar my colleague y friend Francisco Tablas, who was un postdoctoral other at the time. Eventually identificación became confident sufficient to generate original results on mine own: my earliest achievement consisted the explaining some functions in ns laser signals – the at an initial sight appeared to it is in noise – as “relaxation oscillations,” predictable from the radical equations of laser emission.

My años at Berkeley have actually been some of los best of mine life. I arrived over there just delaware the ser of los free-speech movement. Identificación had the opportunity come explore plenty of areas and to connect in exciting scientific research in one intellectually stimulating environment. That was also during this time that identificación had my very first experience dealing with los impact of science and technology top top society. I remember that i was dismayed by the fact that high-power chemistry lasers were being emerged elsewhere as weapons; identificación wanted to it is in involved with research that was helpful to society, yet not for potentially harmful purposes.

After completing my Ph.D. Degree in 1972, i stayed for an additional year at Berkeley to proceed research on chemical dynamics. Then, in ns fall the 1973, i joined the coporación, grupo of Professor F. Sherwood (Sherry) Rowland as ns postdoctoral fellow, moving to Irvine, California. Sherry had actually pioneered research study on “hot atom” chemistry, investigating chemical properties that atoms with excess translational energy and produced by radioactive processes. Sherry readily available me uno list of research study options: los one task that intrigued me the most consisted of finding fuera the ecological fate of particular very inert industrial chemicals – the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) – which had actually been accumulating in ns atmosphere y which at that tiempo were believed to have cuales significant results on los environment. This project available me the opportunity to learn ns new campo – atmospheric chemistry – about which me gustaría knew really little; trying to solve a challenging problem showed up to be fantastic way to plunge right into a new research area. Ns CFCs space compounds similar to others that Sherry and I had investigated representar the punto of watch of molecular dynamics; we were familiar with their chemical properties, however not con their atmospheric chemistry.

Three months after I came down on Irvine, Sherry and I developed los “CFC-ozone depletion theory.” at first los research did no seem come be an especially interesting – i carried el fin a systematic search for procedures that might destroy ns CFCs in the lower atmosphere, yet nothing appeared to affect them. We knew, however, that they would at some point drift to sufficiently high aviso to be destroyed by sol radiation. The question to be not just what destroys them, but much more importantly, what ns consequences are. Us realized that the chlorine atoms created by los decomposition of the CFCs would catalytically destroy ozone. We became totally aware of ns seriousness of the problem once we contrasted the industria amounts the CFCs to ns amounts that nitrogen oxides which control ozone levels; los role of these catalysts of naturalmente origin had actually been established uno few año earlier by pablo Crutzen. We were alert at los possibility that the continued relax of CFCs into the atmosphere would cause un significant depletion of los Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer. Sherry y I chose to exchange information with the atmospheric sciences community: we went to Berkeley to confer con Professor Harold Johnston, whose occupational on ns impact of ns release of nitrogen oxides from the propose supersonic move (SST) plane on ns stratospheric ozone great was famed to us. Johnston informed us the months previously Ralph Cicerone and Richard Stolarski had arrived at casta conclusions concerning ns catalytic properties of chlorine atom in the stratosphere, in link with los release that hydrogen chloride either desde volcanic eruptions or desde the ammonium perchlorate fuel planned for ns space shuttle.

We published our result in Nature, in un paper which showed up in los June 28, mil novecientos setenta y cuatro issue. Ns years following los publication that our file were hectic, together we had decided to communicate ns CFC – ozone worry not only to other scientists, but additionally to plan makers y to ns news media; us realized this was ns only way to insure that culture would take some procedures to alleviate los problem.

To me, Sherry Rowland has constantly been ns wonderful mentor and colleague. I cherish my years of asociación with him and my friendship con him y his wife, Joan. While he was on sabbatical leaving in Vienna during ns first six months that 1974, us communicated vía mail and telephone. There were plenty of exchanges of correo during this short period of time, i m sorry illustrated the frantic pace of our study at that hora while we continued to filter our ozone depletion theory. Soon after, Sherry y I published several an ext articles on the CFC-ozone issue; we presented our results at científico meetings and we also testified in ~ legislative hearings ~ above potential controls on CFCs emissions.

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In 1975, identificación was appointed as uno member of ns faculty at ns University that California, Irvine. Although me gustaría continued to collaborate with Sherry, as an assistant professor i had to prove that me gustaría was capable of conducting original research on my own. Identificación thus set up an independent regime to inspection chemical y spectroscopic properties of compound of atmospheric importance, concentrating on those that room unstable and difficult to handle in the laboratory, such together hypochlorous acid, chlorine nitrite, chlorine nitrate, peroxynitric acid, etc.

Although my years at Irvine were very productive, identificación missed not doing experiments myself due to the fact that of the many responsibilities linked with un faculty position: teaching courses, supervising graduate students, meetings, etc. After spending seven años at Irvine together Assistant and then combine Professor, i decided to move to a non-academic position. Me gustaría joined the Molecular Physics and Chemistry section at ns Jet Propulsion activities in 1982. Me gustaría had ns smaller grupo – only un few postdoctoral fellows – but i also had the luxury the conducting experiments with my own hands, which i enjoyed very much. Indeed, me gustaría spent numerous hours in los laboratory in those years, conducting measurements y developing techniques for the study of newly arising problems. Roughly 1985, delaware becoming mindful of los discovery by joseph Farman and his co-workers of los seasonal depletion of ozone over Antarctica, my research group at JPL investigated the extraño chemistry i m sorry is supported by polar stratospheric clouds, some of which consist of ice crystals. We were may be to show that chlorine-activation reactions take it place really efficiently in the presence of ice under santo stratospheric conditions; thus, we provided ns laboratory simulation of the chemical effects of clouds over the Antarctic. Also, in order to understand the rapid catalytic gas step reactions the were taking place gastos generales the del sur Pole, experiments were carried fuera de in my coporación, grupo with chlorine peroxide, a new compound which had actually not to be reported formerly in los literature y which turned fuera to be crucial in providing the explanation for ns rapid lose of ozone in the santo stratosphere.

In mil novecientos ochenta y nueve I went back to scholastic life, relocating to los Massachusetts academia of Technology, where identificación have continued con research on global atmospheric chemistry issues.

Although I cuales longer invest much time in the laboratory, i very lot enjoy working con my graduate y postdoctoral students, who administer me with invaluable pundit stimulus. I have additionally benefited desde teaching; as me gustaría try to define my views to students with critical and open minds, identificación find myself continually being challenged to walk back y rethink ideas. I now check out teaching and research as complementary, support reinforcing activities.

When identificación first chose los project come investigate los fate the chlorofluorocarbons in los atmosphere, it was simply fuera de of scientific curiosity. Identificación did not take into consideration at the time ns environmental after-effects of what Sherry and I had set fuera to study. Identificación am heartened y humbled that i was may be to perform something that no only added to our knowledge of atmospheric chemistry, but additionally had a profound impact on the global environment.

One of ns very rewarding aspects of mine work has actually been the interaction with un superb group of colleagues y friends in the atmospheric sciences community. Identificación truly value these friendships, numerous of which walk back veinte years or more, y which me gustaría expect to continue for numerous more la edad to come. I feel that this Nobel compensation represents acknowledgment for los excellent work that has actually been excellent by my colleagues y friends in ns atmospheric chemistry community on ns stratospheric ozone depletion issue.

* This autobiography was listed by los Laureate in November 2007.

Addendum, may 2006

My mam is Guadalupe Alvarez; identificación am cuales longer married to Luisa Molina. My son Felipe perfect his tratamiento médico school studies and is now a physician in Boston.; In 2005 I moved from MIT to ns University the California, san Diego, and also come Mexico City, where me gustaría created a new centrar for strategic studies in energy y environment.

My existing work is associated to aire quality and global change issues. Identificación collaborate con colleagues representar many other disciplines on the problem of rapidly farming cities con serious air pollution problems. In Mexico ciudad we have succeeded in improving atmósfera quality significantly, although lot work stays to it is in done. Mine research coporación, grupo in san Diego is investigating chemistry properties the atmospheric particles. The goal is to far better understand the effect of these particles top top clouds and climate.

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Mario Molina passed away on siete October 2020.

To cite this ar MLA style: Mario J. Molina – Biographical. Moncleroutlet.es. Nobel prize Outreach abdominal muscle 2021. Fri. Veinte Aug 2021.