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Otto Paul Hermann Diels (23 January 1876 – 7 March 1954) was a German chemist. His most notable work was done with Kurt Alder on the Diels–Alder reaction, a method for diene synthesis. The pair was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1950 for their work. Their method of synthesizing cyclic organic compounds proved valuable for the manufacture of synthetic rubber and plastic.
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- It will rightly be asked: What is the synthetic principle on which this obviously highly important product of y-methylcyclopentenophenanthrene is built up in nature, and why is it that this particular type which, as founda tion of many substances indispensable to life and of extreme physiological and biological importance, plays such a vital role in the vegetable and animal kingdoms? However, the time has not yet come when we can give an answer to questions so fundamental and so important to an understanding of the workings of Nature. But I am firmly convinced that this problem - like all others - will eventually be solved.
- "Description and Importance of the Aromatic Basic Skeleton of the Steroids" (Nobel Lecture), 1950.