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Otto Wallach

Otto WallachBorn: 27-Mar-1847
Birthplace: Kaliningrad, Russia
Died: 26-Feb-1931
Location of death: Göttingen, Germany
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Göttinger Stadtfriedhof, Göttingen, Germany

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Terpenes and essential oils

Military service: Prussian Army (Franco-Prussian War)

German chemist Otto Wallach was born in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia), and conducted early research into aniline dyes and his pioneer work in organic chemistry. Often conducting his early research under candlelight, he studied the molecular structure of essential oils (aromatic liquids extracted from flowers, grasses, fruits, leaves, roots, or trees). In 1887 he showed that terpenes (monocyclic hydrocarbons found in plants, such as basil, camphor, lemon, menthol, and orange) share a fundamental unit of five carbon atoms, and can be derived biosynthetically from isoprene. In 1895 he wrote what is now called Wallach's rule, which states that racemic crystals are more dense than the crystals of pure enantiomers. He wrote more than 150 papers on the topic of terpenes, and won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1910. He never married.

Father: Gerhard Wallach (civil servant)
Mother: Otillie Thoma

    University: PhD, University of Göttingen (1869)
    Professor: Pharmacy, University of Bonn (1870-76)
    Professor: Pharmacy, University of Bonn (1876-89)
    Professor: Chemistry, University of Göttingen (1889-1915)

    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1910
    Imperial Order of the Eagle 1911
    Davy Medal 1912
    Royal Order of the Crown 1915
    German Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry
    Russian Ancestry

Author of books:
Tabellen zur Chemischen Analyse (1880, chemistry)
Terpene und Campher (1909, chemistry)

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