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George Andrew Olah

Olah, George Andrew, 1927–, American chemist, b. Budapest, Ph.D. Budapest Univ. of Technology and Economics, 1949. Olah was a researcher at Dow Chemical from 1957 to 1965 and a professor at Case Western Univ. from 1965 to 1977. Since 1977 he has been a professor at the Univ. of Southern California. Olah was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his contributions to carbocation chemistry. Carbocations, or positively charged hydrocarbons, are very short-lived, reactive intermediates in many reactions of organic molecules and are therefore difficult to study. Olah found that stable carbocations could be prepared through the use of superacids, enabling the properties of carbocations to be determined.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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