The founder of the Nobel price, Alfred Nobel was a distinguished scientist and investor. He owned a variety of firms that produced goods ranging from weapons to edibles. Thus chemistry was his field of study and specialization. When he died and introduced the Nobel peace prize, chemistry was the second prize area that he mentioned in his will. Thus the Nobel Prize in chemistry was founded. This prize is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of sciences in Sweden (Nobel Foundation, 2007).
The 2007 Nobel Prize was awarded to a Germany scholar and scientist Gerald Ertl for his successful research in for chemical reactions on solid surfaces which are vital to explanations to such scientific occurrences as the thinning of the ozone layer. This research has also laid foundation in the explanation of such actions as how fuel cells work the science behind catalytic converters and the explanation of the rusting of iron (Ertl, 1985).
Gerhard Ertl is renowned for his keen and scientific studies through determinacy of detailed molecular mechanism and catalytic synthesis of ammonia through the Haber process. This research entailed the manipulation of catalyst over iron and the catalytic oxidation of carbon ii oxide over platinum also known as the catalytic oxidation of ammonium. He was also successful in making discoveries over the reactions and through a powered microscopy he was able to make a discovery in the oscillatory changes over the reactions that occur during the reactions (Ertl, 1985).
He was also among the pioneering group that made observations techniques over the low energy electron Diffraction (LEED). He is also renowned for other discoveries of the Ultra violet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). These discoveries have ended up being one of the most essential and pillars of modern chemistry. Thus the US$1.7 million was not awarded in vain but was deeply deserved and the german scientist is among the pioneers of modern chemistry especially in industrial production (Ertl, 1985).
Ertl, Gerhard, Gerhard Ertl, and Gerhard Ertl. Springer Series in Surface Sciences. Berlin [-West] [etc.: Springer, 1985.
Ertl, Gerhard. Handbook of Heterogeneous Catalysis: 8 Volumes. Weinheim: WILEY-VCH, 2008.
Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2007: Press Release. Nobel Foundation, n.d.