Inside: John Polanyi is still living and working at the University of Toronto. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in chemical kinetics. This Berlin born scientist is still an active contributor to the academic world at the age of 91.
John Polanyi Toronto Connection
John Polanyi has a connection to my family. It is a small world indeed. This famous chemist who celebrates his birthday January 23 also happens to be a current chemistry professor at the University of Toronto. My youngest son attends or attended that University depending upon when you are reading this post. My son should graduate in 2023. He is a biochem student so I’m sure he’s at least written one exam penned by this man.
John Charles Polanyi, is a Hungarian-Canadian chemist born January 23, 1929 in Berlin, Germany.
His Education and Nobel Prize
He won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research in chemical kinetics. John Polanyi shared the prize with Dudley Herschbach of Harvard University and Yuan T. Lee of the University of California.
He moved with his family to England in 1933 where he was educated. There, he received both his B.Sc. (1949) and Ph.D (1952) at Manchester University.
He spent time from 1952-1954, as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Research Council Laboratories in Ottawa, Canada, and from 1954-1956 as a Research Associate at Princeton University.
John Polanyi was appointed as a Lecturer at the University of Toronto in 1956. He quickly rose in rank to Assistant Professor (1957-1960), Associate Professor (1960-1962) and Professor (1962- present). In January 1974, he was honored with the title University Professor.
Ernst Ruska, Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in electron microscopes and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM). Polanyi found their work interesting. He decided to see how these microscopes might make his research easier.. After returning to Toronto, Polanyi and his colleagues examined their work and now have four scanning tunnelling microscopes. They use these microscopes to picture chemical reactions at the molecular level, instead of using infrared detection and chemiluminescence.
Polanyi’s Nobel medal is on display at Massey College (University of Toronto) where he is also a Senior Fellow.
Check out this similar post about Nikola Tesla and his contributions to the world of physics.
Amazon Associates, Great Courses Plus, KiwiCo and Mel Science Disclosure
Science Alcove is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the MEL Science Program and KiwiCo affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, MEL Science and KiwiCo.
Need Science and STEM kits to rock your classroom or home school? Got young kids you want to encourage to be passionate about science?Check out KiwiCo and get super interactive kits mailed right to your door!
Check out this page KiwiCo is making available to parents during the Covid 19 pandemic. If your kids are missing school or you’d love to help them with some cool science to keep busy, check out this page, At-Home Resources for Kids (and their grownups). There are lots of free science activities to keep the kiddos busy.
Need chemistry kits to rock your classroom or home school? Check out MEL Science Program and get super interactive kits mailed right to your door!
Stimulate your Mind with Great Science Streaming and Check out Great Courses Plus