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  Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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Gerhard Ertl of Germany won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday
Gerhard Ertl of Germany won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces, a key to understanding the effects of pollution on the ozone layer. Ertl's research laid the foundation of modern surface chemistry, which has helped explain how fuel cells produce energy without pollution, how catalytic converters clean up car exhaust and even why iron rusts, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. "Surface chemistry can even explain the destruction of the ozone layer, as vital steps in the reaction actually take place on the surfaces of small crystals of ice in the stratosphere," the award citation said. On Tuesday, France's Albert Fert and German Peter Gruenberg won the physics award for discovering a phenomenon that lets computers and digital music players store reams of data on ever-shrinking hard disks. Two U.S. scientists, Mario R. Capecchi and Oliver Smithies, and the U.K.'s Sir Martin J. Evans, were awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Medicine at a ceremony on Monday, for groundbreaking discoveries in stem cell research. Prizes for literature, peace and economics will be announced through October 15. The awards - each worth $1.5 million - will be handed out by Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremony in Stockholm on the December 10 anniversary of the death of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who established the award in his will.
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