June 13 – Happy Birthday, Rolf Huisgen!

Posted on June 13, 2017

Born in Germany on this date in 1920, Rolf Huisgen became a chemist. As you know, chemists study the substances that make up the world and the universe - and they learn about the properties of these substances and how the various substances interact and combine with one another.

Huisgen worked with organic chemistry.
He studied cyclic compounds.
He made contributions in understanding how heterocyclic compounds are made.

And what, you are asking me, does all of THAT mean?

Organic chemistry is the study of carbon compounds. Most complex carbon compounds can be found in living things.

Cyclic compounds are substances in which multiple atoms are connected in a ring.

And heterocyclic compounds have more than one sort of atom in the ring structure(s). 

In case you are wondering how any of that could have importance in the real world, most medicines and drugs are made up of heterocyclic compounds. And all of the nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) are, too - and they are really important to understand! Plant fibers - including wood and cotton and paper and other things include cellulose, and cellulose is a heterocyclic compound.

So...really, really important!

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