Giulio Natta Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
Giulio Natta was born on the 26 February 1903 in Imperia, Italy. He was an academically gifted child who was fascinated with chemistry and enjoyed carrying out experiments.
Between 1919 and 1921 Natta studied mathematics at the University of Genoa. He obtained a degree in chemical engineering from the Milan Polytechnic in 1924 and then taught at the Polytechnic between 1927 and 1933.
Giulio Natta taught at the Milan Polytechnic between 1927 and 1933 before being appointed a professor of chemistry at the University of Pavia where he stayed until 1935. He was then made a professor of physical chemistry at the University of Rome (1935-1936), professor of industrial chemistry at the University of Turin (1936-1938) and in 1938 returned to his alma mater, the Milan Polytechnic where Natta stayed until 1968.
His research involved working with industry to study high polymers to develop new products. His breakthrough came in 1954 when Ziegler and Natta found a way to introduce a simple, controlled chemical process to produce polymerization with at room temperature with minimal pressure. This discovery made the manufacture of industrial plastics affordable. It was named the Ziegler-Natta catalyst, and in 1963, they shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Awards And Achievements
Besides winning the 1963 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Professor Giulio Natta won many other awards including the Sir William Perkin Medal (1963), the Antoine Lavoisier Medal (1963), the Mikhail Lomonosov Gold Medal (1969) and the John Scott Medal (1971). He became a foreign member of the New York Academy of Sciences (1958), the Austrian Chemical Society (1960), the French Academy of Sciences (1964), Russian Academy of Sciences (1966) and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (1965).
Natta authored two books: Trends in the Organic Chemical Industry and Stereochemistry: The Molecule in Three Dimensions.
Giulio Natta married Rosita Beati in 1935, and the couple had two sons, Giuseppe and Franca. They remained married until Beati’s death in 1968.
Diseases And Disabilities
In 1956, Giulio Natta was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He died in Bergamo, Italy on the 2 May 1979 at the age of seventy-six.