Biography of Kurt Alder (1902-1958)

German chemist born in Konigshutte (the current Polish city of Chorzów) on July 10, 1902 and died in Cologne (Germany) on June 10, 1958. Together with the German Otto Diels (1876-1954) was also, in 1950, the Nobel Prize in chemistry, for the discovery of the synthesis dienica (or Diels-Alder reaction), in which a compound with a link ethylene or acetylenic sufficiently activated condenses with a system of conjugated double bonds.

His childhood was spent in the bustling industrial city where he/she was born; but, after the first World War (1914-1919), he/she had to leave his homeland for political reasons. He/She then settled in Berlin and there began his studies of chemistry, which then continued at the University of Kiel, where he/she was student (and soon disciple and close associate) of the aforementioned Otto Diels. In 1934 it became incumbent Professor of chemistry at his alma mater, initiating a fruitful teaching career that led him, years later, to the University of Cologne, where he/she was Professor of chemistry and chemical technology. Work was also enriched with the address of a major German chemical industry laboratories.

In 1928, working as a Assistant with his teacher Diels, he/she discovered the synthesis general dienica, also known as Diels-Alder reaction. Through it, a conjugated diene reacts by addition with one of the unsaturated compounds belonging to the dienofilos group, which gives result, usually a compound structure void with six members. This method is very useful in the synthesis of complex organic compounds.

The alkaloids or aromatic substances, as well as insecticides are obtained thanks to the diene synthesis. The own Kurt Alder explained many of these applications of its discoveries in the more than one hundred and fifty articles and essays published in the most prestigious scientific journals from Germany, as Justus Liebig completo Annalen der Chemie, Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft and Angewandte Chemie.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, the work of Alder has been recognized with numerous honors and disticiones, among those who recalled the "Emil Fischer Memorial" Medal, awarded by the Association of chemical Germans in 1938. In that year he/she was appointed member of the Kaiserlich Leopold Karol Deutsche Akademie der Sciences, Halle; and in 1950 was invested doctor honoris causa by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Cologne, degree which also granted him, four years later, the University of Salamanca.