Friday, April 27, 2007

Top 5 husband and wife chemists excluding Curie

1) Heinz Hunsdiecker and Clare Hunsdiecker

Published :Über den Abbau der Salze aliphatischer Säuren durch Brom (Chem. Ber. 1942, 75, 291). We should call it the Hunsdiecker-Hunsdiecker reaction.


2) Fritz Haber and Clara Haber

Clara shot herself in 1915 because she did not like the chemistry he did in those days.

3) Louis Fieser and Mary Fieser


4) Walter Noddack and Ida Noddack

5) Antoine Laurent Lavoisier and Marie Anne Lavoisier

9 comments:

milkshake said...

poor Fritz Haber - he looks just like Dr. Evil. As for patriotic duty, he got infamous because he worked for government that started and lost the war. There was plenty skilled chemists in Great Brittain that did the same research.

The chemists who worked on isolation of plutonium also did not make world a better place. And they got Nobels for their effort.

Jordan said...

Fieser invented napalm, which also caused untold suffering. No suicides there, AFAIK.

synthetic environment said...

That's why Fieser is nr 5 on this list.

Tripmitz said...

Hmmm did you check out the Cornforths? John and Rita Cornforth, still going, so possibly the top living husband & wife team...

1975 Nobel Prize for stereochemistry of enzyme catalysed reactions.

Ashutosh said...

i think there's a difference between haber and seaborg. haber specifically participated in the war with the intent to develop chemical weapons, while seaborg and others had no inkling of whether plutonium could be used in an atomic weapon when they discovered it. at that point, their goal was to play with the chemistry of transuranium elements.

Ashutosh said...

one more pair: carl and gerty cori

synthetic environment said...

Seaborg worked on the Manhattan project, so he did work on the developent of a weapon. Haber stood on the battlefield himself in order to throw chlorine to the enemy.

Haber's Nobel prize for the synthesis of ammonia with the Haber–Bosch process gave not only a fertilizer, but also the starting material for nitro compound for explosives using the Ostwald process.

I do not know how to look at this, Haber did not work for the absolutely evil Nazi regime. The nuclear bombs on Japan resulted in more deaths than Haber's chlorine. In both cases it was just war. War is always evil.

Ashutosh said...

Yes, Seaborg did work on the Manhattan project and on the bomb. But I am just trying to compare him with Haber, because Seaborg's efforts to produce plutonium were also from a pure scientific point of view before he joined the MP, while Haber worked in the war expressly (as far as I remember) with the purpose of developing chemical weapons right from the beginning.
I am only saying the comparison is interesting...not trying to vilify Haber or say that Seaborg contributed nothing to the bomb. Milkshake's point is quite well-taken, that citizens of a country that wages and loses a war are always more maligned than comparable citizens on the winning side.

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