01 June 2011
Click periodic table of elements to enlarge.
Herbert C. Brown (1912-2004, born Herbert Brovarnik in London, emigrated to USA at age 2, naturalized citizen 1936) won the 1979 Nobel Chemistry Prize for his lifetime of investigation of the chemical element boron.
When he was graduated from the University of Chicago in 1936, he and his fiancee Sarah Baylen were so broke that a used book on boron was all she could afford as a graduation gift. Brown credited that primitive book with his lifetime obsession.
William N. Lipscomb (Nobel Chemistry 1976) also obsessed on the chemical bonds of boron and produced this periodic table to reflect boron's paramount importance among all the elements. It hung above the blackboard in Brown's Purdue classroom.