15 Facts About Gerhard Ertl


Gerhard Ertl is a German physicist and a Professor emeritus at the Department of Physical Chemistry, Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Berlin, Germany.


Gerhard Ertl's work has paved the way for development of cleaner energy sources and will guide the development of fuel cells, said Astrid Graslund, secretary of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.


Gerhard Ertl was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces.


The Nobel academy said Gerhard Ertl provided a detailed description of how chemical reactions take place on surfaces.


Gerhard Ertl's findings applied in both academic studies and industrial development, the academy said.


In 2015, Gerhard Ertl signed the Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change on the final day of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.


Gerhard Ertl was born in Stuttgart, Germany, where he studied physics from 1955 to 1957 at the Technical University of Stuttgart and then at the University of Paris and Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.


Gerhard Ertl completed his Diplom in Physics at the Technical University of Stuttgart in 1961, followed his thesis advisor Heinz Gerischer from the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart to Munich and received his PhD degree from the Technical University of Munich in 1965.


Gerhard Ertl became the director at the Fritz Haber Institute of the MPG from 1986 till his retirement in 2004.


From 2008 to 2016, Gerhard Ertl served as a member of the university council of Technische Universitat Darmstadt.


Gerhard Ertl is known for determining the detailed molecular mechanisms of the catalytic synthesis of ammonia over iron and the catalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide over platinum.


Gerhard Ertl always used new observation techniques like low-energy electron diffraction at the beginning of his career, later ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning tunneling microscope yielding ground breaking results.


Gerhard Ertl was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces.


Gerhard Ertl's hobbies include playing the piano and playing with his cats when he is not doing experiments.


Gerhard Ertl is one of the editors of the Handbook of Heterogeneous Catalysis.