A German scientist whose studies of chemical reactions on solid surfaces have affected fields as diverse as agriculture, manufacturing and climatology won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry yesterday.
Gerhard Ertl, an emeritus professor at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, received the $1.5 million prize for pioneering work in surface chemistry, a specialty that helps explain the processes in making fertilizer and computer chips, and sheds light on the activity inside the catalytic converter of a car and on the surface of ice crystals in the stratosphere.
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