Fritz Haber was born in Breslau, Poland in 1868. At the age of 25, he began studying organic chemistry, but he was drawn to applied physical chemistry. In 1896, he was named a professor at Karlsruhe and from the year 1911, headed the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of physical chemistry.
During World War I Haber, helped develop the German chemical industry for war purposes and also played a role in developing gases for chemical warfare. Haber left the Jewish faith and was not harassed by the Nazis when they rose to power. However, in 1933, he was forced to flee to England after refusing to fire his Jewish assistants. He then went to Switzerland where he continued his research.
In 1918, Fritz Haber was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for the synthesis of ammonia from its elements”. Ammonia is an extremely important raw chemical material. Today, cooling and air-conditioning systems are among its many uses.
Haber developed a system for producing ammonia, and with the help of Carl Bosch, also found new avenues for its industrial use. Haber’s developments continue to serve industry until this very day.
Fritz Haber died in 1934.