Hispanic Heritage Essay

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  • Topic: Ozone depletion, Ozone layer, Chlorofluorocarbon
  • Pages : 2 (515 words )
  • Download(s) : 1354
  • Published : November 20, 2006
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Mario Molina

Throughout history, Hispanic people have made many great contributions to society and the way we live today. One of those people is Mario Molina, a Nobel-Prize winning chemist.
Mario Molina was born in Mexico City in 1943 to an affluent family. From the time he was young, he had a great interest in science, and turned his bathroom into a laboratory where he conducted experiments with the help of an aunt, who was also a chemist. Molina studied abroad for many years before deciding to pursue a graduate degree in the United States. After completing his Ph.D., Molina joined the research team of Professor Sherwood Rowland, the man Molina would go on to win the Nobel-Prize with.

Together, Molina and Rowland studied a type of industrial chemical called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which where commonly used in cooling systems at the time. These chemicals had been accumulating in the atmosphere for many years, but had not been thought to be causing any harm. However, Molina and Rowland proved this was wrong with their "CFC-ozone depletion theory." This theory stated that the CFCs in the air were actually destroying the ozone layer that protects the earth from dangerous ultra-violet rays from the sun.

Molina and Rowland published their findings and informed the media, as well as lawmakers of the potential dangers of CFC production. Molina was a key player in the fight against the production of chlorofluorocarbons. At first, many people were skeptical, but Molina persisted, and ultimately got the scientific community to support him. Molina's work led to the eventual ban of their use in many countries around the world, including the United States, which was one of the biggest producers of CFCs. Because of their work, Molina and Rowland were awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1995. Molina was the first Mexican ever to receive this honor.

Today, with concern growing about global warming and the environment, Molina's work is more important than...
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