In 1995 Paul J. Crutzen shared a third of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Mario J. Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland for their "work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone"
 

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Video recorded in 2005.  Harry Kroto interviews Paul Crutzen on his early life and his research work on ozone. 

 

Paul Crutzen was born in Holland where he went to engineering school as he wanted to design bridges.  He tells us that he was a late starter in science at 35 years of age as he had already trained to be a bridge builder and a house construction expert.  He also learned to programme computers which led to him getting an appointment at the University of Stockholm in programming which in turn enabled him to start studying science, in particular maths and mathematical statistics in the Department of Meteorology.

 

He developed a fascination for atmospheric chemistry while working in programming in particular working on Nitrogen Oxides as a control of ozone in the atmosphere and the effects of nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere.  Initially he was opposed to working on pollution of the atmosphere but found that man had an effect on everything so that we always have to take into account the effects of man.

 

Issues that particularly concern him are the biosphere, ecosphere and climate.  On the climate issue he is concerned about the emission of greenhouse gases and the rapidly increasing temperatures on earth.  The problems he says are complex.   Listen to this interview to find out more.


 

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Photo of Paul Crutzen



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