Born Hermann Emil Louis Fischer in Germany, Fischer was best known for his work in the field of chemistry, including the study of sugars and purines . He also developed the Fischer projection, a symbolic way of drawing asymmetric carbon atoms, and discovered the Fischer esterification, a special type of esterification by refluxing a carboxylic acid with an alcohol in the presence of an acid catalyst .
Fischer attended the University of Strasbourg in 1872, and earned a doctorate in chemistry with his study of phenolphthalein under Professor Adolf von Baeyer. He was a 1902 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, as well as many other awards.
Fischer was born in Euskirchen, Germany on October 9th, 1852. He was the only child of a German businessman. Fischer spent three years with a private tutor, and then went to a local school. Two years later, he transferred to the school in Wetzlar, Germany, and then spent two more years in Bonn, Germany, during the time he was attacked by gastritis. He passed his final examination in 1869 with great distinction. His father wished for him to enter the family lumber business until determining his son unsuitable. According to one account, he said, “[Emil] is too stupid to be a businessman. He is better off as a student.”
Young Emil wished to study natural sciences, mainly physics. However, he was sent to the University of Bonn in 1871 to study in the field of chemistry. He also attended lectures of August Kekulé, Engelbach and Zincke, August Kundt, and Paul Groth on many different matters outside his field, including physics and mineralogy.
In 1872, Fischer still wished to study physics. He was persuaded by his cousin Otto Fischer to go with him to the University of Strasbourg. There he met P...
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