Frank Sherwood Rowland

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Frank Sherwood Rowland
F. Sherwood Rowland.jpg
At the inaugural World Science Summit, May 2008
Born (1927-06-28)June 28, 1927
Delaware, Ohio
Died March 10, 2012(2012-03-10) (aged 84)
Newport Beach, California
Nationality United States
Fields Chemistry
Institutions University of California, Irvine
Alma mater Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A.), University of Chicago (Ph.D.)
Doctoral advisor Willard Libby
Known for Ozone depletion research
Notable awards 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
1994 Albert Einstein World Award of Science
1993 Peter Debye Award
1989 Japan Prize
1983 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
1976 Tolman Award

Frank Sherwood Rowland (June 28, 1927 – March 10, 2012) was an American Nobel laureate and a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Irvine. His research was on atmospheric chemistry and chemical kinetics. His best-known work was the discovery that chlorofluorocarbons contribute to ozone depletion.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Born in Delaware, Ohio, Frank Rowland received a majority of his education in public schools and, due to accelerated promotion was able to graduate high school several weeks before his 16th birthday.[3] In the summers during his high school career, Frank was entrusted to run the local weather service station. This was Rowland's first exposure to systematic experimentation and data collection. After entering Ohio Wesleyan University, Rowland was able to graduate shortly before his 18th birthday and enlisted within the Navy due to people of his age being drafted. Rowland was discharged after 14 months as a non commissioned officer. After entering the University of Chicago, Rowland was assigned Willard F. Libby as a mentor and began to study radiochemistry. Rowland's thesis was about the chemical state of cyclotron-produced radioactive bromine atoms. Rowland received his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1948. He then earned his M.S. in 1951 and his Ph.D. in 1952, both from the University of Chicago. He held academic posts at Princeton University (1952–56) and at the University of Kansas (1956–64) before becoming a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Irvine, in 1964. At Irvine in the early 1970s he began working with Mario J. Molina. Rowland was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1978 and served as a president of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1993. His best-known work was the discovery that chlorofluorocarbons contribute to ozone depletion. Rowland theorized that man made organic compound gases combine with solar radiation and decompose in the stratosphere, releasing atoms of chlorine and chlorine monoxide that are individually able to destroy large numbers of ozone molecules. It was obvious that Frank had a good idea of what was occurring at higher altitudes when he stated "...I knew that such a molecule could not remain inert in the atmosphere forever, if only because solar photochemistry at high altitudes would break it down".[4] Rowland's research, first published in Nature magazine in 1974, initiated a scientific investigation of the problem. The National Academy of Sciences concurred with the findings in 1976 and in 1978 CFC-based aerosols were banned in the United States.

Experiments[edit]

Rowland performed many measurements of the atmosphere. One experiment included collecting air samples at various cities and locations around the globe to determine CCl3F North-South mixing. By measuring the concentrations at different latitudes, Rowland was able to see that CCl3F was mixing between hemispheres quite rapidly. The same measurement was repeated 8 years later and the results showed a steady increase in CCl3F concentrations. Rowland's work also showed how the density of the ozone layer varied by season increasing in November and decreasing until April where it levels out for the summer only to increase in November. Data gained throughout successive years showed that although the pattern was consistent, the overall ozone levels were dropping. With this data, the Montreal Protocol was passed and CFC emissions were regulated within Canada, the United States, Sweden, Norway, and all other major industrial countries.[5]

Family[edit]

Frank Rowland is the father of art historian Ingrid Rowland, and Jeff Rowland. He has two granddaughters.

Awards[edit]

He won numerous awards for his work:

Death[edit]

After suffering from a short bout of ill health, Rowland died on March 10, 2012, of complications from Parkinson's disease.[7] Upon hearing the news, renowned chemist and good friend Mario J. Molina stated: "Sherry was a prime influence throughout my career and had inspired me and many others to walk in the shadow of his greatness".[8]

Bibliography[edit]

Technical Reports:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Prather, M. J.; Blake, D. R. (2012). "F. Sherwood Rowland (1927–2012)". Nature 484 (7393): 168. doi:10.1038/484168a. PMID 22498618.  edit
  2. ^ Molina, M. J.; Rowland, F. S. (1974). "Stratospheric sink for chlorofluoromethanes: Chlorine atom-catalysed destruction of ozone". Nature 249 (5460): 810. doi:10.1038/249810a0.  edit
  3. ^ Nobel Lectures in Chemistry (1991-1995). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing. 1997. p. 296. ISBN 981-02-2679-9. 
  4. ^ Nobel Lectures in Chemistry (1991-1995). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing. 1997. p. 296. ISBN 981-02-2679-9. 
  5. ^ Nobel Lectures in Chemistry (1991-1995). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing. 1997. p. 296. ISBN 981-02-2679-9. 
  6. ^ "Albert Einstein World Award of Science 1994". Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ Barringer, Felicity (March 12, 2012). "F. Sherwood Rowland, 84, Dies; Raised Alarm Over Aerosols". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ "F. Sherwood Rowland – Autobiography". Nobelprize.org. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 

External links[edit]

Archival collections[edit]

Other[edit]