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Willstatter Richard Martin

( Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1915.)

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Biography Willstatter Richard Martin
Willstatter, Richard Martin (Willstatter, Richard Martin), (1872-1942) (Germany). Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1915.
Born August 13, 1872 in Karlsruhe (Germany), the second son in the family merchant tissues Max Willstatter and Sofia Ullman. He graduated from high school in Karlsruhe and a real high school in Nuremberg, where he showed himself an apt pupil, and the rector had recommended him for admission to King's College in Munich, however, enrollment has been denied - he was a Jew.

In 1890, after the real high school, Willstatter entered the Technical University of Munich, to study chemistry. However, the level of education had disappointed him, and he moved to the University of Munich in the laboratory A. von Baeyer (Nobel Prize, 1905).

Bayer recommended Willstatter his collaborator Alfred Einhorn (Alfred Einhorn, 1857-1917), who engaged Willstatter difficult by the structure of a molecule of cocaine in 1897 and established its structure. Even earlier, in 1894, he received his doctorate in chemistry, two years later became assistant professor and in 1902 - an associate professor in the laboratory of Bayer. Willstatter continued the study of alkaloids - alkaloids studied interconversions group Tropina: fixed structure tropilidena and Tropina and synthesized them, and received tropinon tropiliden. He found the structure ekgonina (1901-1905), studied the alkaloid grenade - psevdopeleterin (1905).

In 1905 Willstatter became professor of chemistry at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Here he took up alicyclic hydrocarbons. Synthesized CYCLOBUTANE (1907), cyclooctene (1910) and tsiklooktatetraen (1911) - hydrocarbons with the size of the ring of 4 to 8 carbon atoms and the number of multiple connections from one to four.

In parallel, began exploring the chlorophyll. In 1912, having conceded the request of his friend, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1930) H. Fischer, Willstatter moved to the newly established Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, where he continued his study of chlorophyll.

The first time (1837) studied the structure of chlorophyll Jens Jakob Berzelius, who found 3 versions of chlorophyll. In 1889, Edward Shank (Edward Schunck, 1820-1903) found that chlorophyll - coordination (complex) connection. In 1906, Mikhail Semenovich Color (1872-1919) chlorophyll divided into two factions - a-and b-chlorophylls.

In 1906 it was suggested that in each individual plant, there are many different kinds of chlorophylls and that the kingdom of plants - the source of an unlimited number of chlorophylls.

From the leaves of a nettle, cheap and widely available source of chlorophyll, Willstatter the first time in 1907 earned a net crystalline chlorophyll. He showed that the chlorophyll is one of the main structure (tetrapirrol, or the connection of the four pyrrole rings connected with the central atom of magnesium). Moreover, he proved the existence of two almost identical forms: a and b. Still, established the universality of chlorophylls a and b, exposing the analysis of more than 200 plants.

Thus, he demonstrated the presence in the world of one of the fundamental structure of chlorophyll. Gave an assessment of controversial results obtained previously - these studies were conducted 'with untreated chlorophyll. Strictly speaking, it generally was not chlorophyll '.

Willstatter studied and dyes, anthocyanins. Out of anthocyanins has most of its plants (beets, flowers, etc.). He discovered the nature of this class of substances, which represent carbohydrate derivatives of heterocycle flavones. Found that most of the plants flower owes its color three anthocyanins (pelargonidinu, delphinidin and cyanidin), which differ in the number of hydroxyl groups at one of the rings of their molecules.

Studies Willstatter were interrupted by World War. Because of injuries sustained several years earlier during the ascent into the mountains, he was released from military service, but with his friend F. Haber (Nobel Prize, 1918) participated in the development of a gas mask. In 1915 Willstatter was awarded the Nobel Prize 'for research dyestuffs plant world, especially chlorophyll'. Because during the war, the awards ceremony was canceled, he won only in 1920.

1916 Willstatter was elected professor of the University of Munich in place a. von Baeyer. Here in 1918 he started up a new research field for himself, 'to break into the unknown', and took up the study of enzymes. Investigated amylase, peroxidase, lipase and Sucrase and tried to get the enzymes in the crystalline form, but was not successful.

By 1924 in Germany increased anti-Semitism, and the number of Jews was not adopted for university positions. In this regard, July 24, 1924 Willstatter in protest resigned and worked for 14 years in his home laboratory. During this time he carried out the hydrolysis of cellulose and identified some polysaccharides. Reagents and utensils provided Willstatter his successor at the University of Wieland (Nobel Laureate, 1927). Willstatter lived at his country house, seven rooms which were occupied by the library, and the rest - a picture gallery with works by French, Italian and German artists.

With the advent of the Nazis (1933) Life Willstatter complicated. In November 1938 the police came to the house, in order to arrest him and send in a concentration camp at Dachau, but the housekeeper could not let the police in the garden, where he was hiding. At the beginning of next year Willstatter tried to flee to Switzerland (where he was offered shelter by his pupil A. Stoll), but when the boat crossed Willstatter Lake Constance, he was captured by the Gestapo. Later, after the intervention of the Swiss Ambassador, Willstatter was allowed to leave Germany. In Switzerland, Stoll gave him the opportunity to stay at the villa 'The Hermitage' in Muroalto near Locarno, where Willstatter lived until his death. There he wrote an autobiography on my life, "which was published in England in 1965.

Died of heart disease on Aug. 3, 1942 in Locarno (Switzerland).


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