Prof. Dr. Drs. h.c. Paul J. Crutzen

Noble Prize for Chemistry in 1995

Paul J. Crutzen, Picture: C. Costard/MPIC

Paul J. Crutzen (born in 1933) succeeded Christian Junge as Director of the Atmospheric Chemistry Department in 1980. This department performs laboratory experiments to determine the absorption of UV and infrared radiation by atmospheric trace elements, as well as the speed at which elements react in the atmosphere. In order to better understand the formation of holes in the ozone layer above the Arctic and Antarctic, processes were simulated on stratospheric particles in the laboratory. The department also performs measurements of the trace elements present in our atmosphere around the world. Mathematical models, into which the data recorded is input, are being developed to describe meteorological, climatic and chemical processes. These models can be used to estimate the possible climatic consequences of a nuclear war and the influence of human activities on the ozone and climate. Paul Crutzen was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995 together with Mario Molina and Frank S. Rowland. Paul Crutzen retired in the year 2000.

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