F. Sherwood Rowland | Wikipedia audio article


Frank Sherwood “Sherry” Rowland (June 28,
1927 – March 10, 2012) was an American Nobel laureate and a professor of chemistry at the
University of California, Irvine. His research was on atmospheric chemistry
and chemical kinetics. His best-known work was the discovery that
chlorofluorocarbons contribute to ozone depletion.==Education and early life==
Born in Delaware, Ohio, Rowland received a majority of his education in public schools
and, due to accelerated promotion was able to graduate high school several weeks before
his 16th birthday. In the summers during his high school career,
Frank was entrusted to run the local weather service station. This was Rowland’s first exposure to systematic
experimentation and data collection. After entering Ohio Wesleyan University, Rowland
was about to graduate shortly before his 18th birthday. Instead, he was enlisted to the Navy to train
radar operators. Rowland was discharged after 14 months as
a non commissioned officer. After entering the University of Chicago,
Rowland was assigned Willard F. Libby as a mentor and began to study radiochemistry. Rowland’s thesis was about the chemical state
of cyclotron-produced radioactive bromine atoms. Rowland received his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan
University in 1948. He then earned his M.S. in 1951 and his Ph.D.
in 1952, both from the University of Chicago.==Career and research==
Rowland held academic posts at Princeton University (1952–56) and at the University of Kansas
(1956–64) before becoming a professor of chemistry at the University of California,
Irvine, in 1964. At Irvine in the early 1970s he began working
with Mario J. Molina. Rowland was elected to the National Academy
of Sciences in 1978 and served as a president of American Association for the Advancement
of Science (AAAS) in 1993. His best-known work was the discovery that
chlorofluorocarbons contribute to ozone depletion. Rowland theorized that man made organic compound
gases combine with solar radiation and decompose in the stratosphere, releasing atoms of chlorine
and chlorine monoxide that are individually able to destroy large numbers of ozone molecules. It was obvious that Frank had a good idea
of what was occurring at higher altitudes when he stated “…I knew that such a molecule
could not remain inert in the atmosphere forever, if only because solar photochemistry at high
altitudes would break it down”. Rowland’s research, first published in Nature
magazine in 1974, initiated a scientific investigation of the problem. In 1978, a first ban on CFC-based aerosols
in spray cans was issued in the United States. The actual production did however not stop
and was soon on the old levels. It took till the 1980s to allow for a global
regulation policy. Rowland performed many measurements of the
atmosphere. One experiment included collecting air samples
at various cities and locations around the globe to determine CCl3F North-South mixing. By measuring the concentrations at different
latitudes, Rowland was able to see that CCl3F was mixing between hemispheres quite rapidly. The same measurement was repeated 8 years
later and the results showed a steady increase in CCl3F concentrations. Rowland’s work also showed how the density
of the ozone layer varied by season increasing in November and decreasing until April where
it levels out for the summer only to increase in November. Data gained throughout successive years showed
that although the pattern was consistent, the overall ozone levels were dropping. Rowland and his colleagues interacted both
with the public and the political side and suggested various solutions, which allowd
to step wise reduce the CFC impact. CFC emissions were regulated first within
Canada, the United States, Sweden and Norway. In the 1980s, the Vienna Agreement and the
Montreal Protocol allowed for global regulation.==Awards and honors==Rowland won numerous awards for his work: Tolman Medal, 1976
Leo Szilard Lectureship Award, 1979 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement,
1983 Japan Prize, 1989
Peter Debye Award, 1993 Albert Einstein World Award of Science, 1994
Roger Revelle Medal, 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1995
In 1998, the UC Irvine physical sciences building was named after Rowland. A bust of Rowland is visible in the lobby. Elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society
(ForMemRS) in 2004 Mount Rowland in Antarctica was named after
him in 2007==Personal life==
Frank Rowland was the father of art historian Ingrid Rowland, and Jeff Rowland. He had two granddaughters. After suffering from a short bout of ill health,
Rowland died on March 10, 2012, of complications from Parkinson’s disease. Upon hearing the news, renowned chemist and
good friend Mario J. Molina stated: “Sherry was a prime influence throughout my career
and had inspired me and many others to walk in the shadow of his greatness”.==References====External links=====Bibliography===
Technical Reports: “Radiochemistry Research: Progress Report,
October 1, 1974 to September 30, 1975”, University of California, Irvine, United States Department
of Energy (through predecessor agency the Atomic Energy Commission), (1975). “Research in Chemical Kinetics: Progress Report,
January 1, 1978 to September 30, 1978”, University of California, Irvine, United States Department
of Energy, (1978). “Research in Chemical Kinetics. Annual Report, 1993”, University of California,
Irvine, United States Department of Energy, (1993). “Research in Chemical Kinetics. Annual Report, 1994”, University of California,
Irvine, United States Department of Energy, (June 1, 1994).===Archival collections===
F. Sherwood Rowland Papers. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine
Libraries, Irvine, California.===Other===
CFCs, Ozone Depletion and Global Warming Freeview video interview with F.Sherwood Rowland provided
by the Vega Science Trust. Nobel Prize Biography
UCI Nobel winner F. Sherwood ‘Sherry’ Rowland dies at 84 Orange County
Ozone layer scientist who ‘saved the world’ dies Guardian
Obituary in The Independent by Marcus Williamson Andersen, Stephen O.; Conzalez, Marco (2012). “Frank Sherwood Rowland”. Physics Today. 65 (10). p. 70. doi:10.1063/PT.3.1759.

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