Hassel, Odd

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Related to Hassel, Odd: Hassall, Luis F. Leloir, Derek Barton

Hassel, Odd

(ôd häs`əl), 1897–1981, Norwegian chemist, b. Christiania (now Oslo), grad. Oslo Univ. (1920), Ph.D. Univ. of Berlin (1924). After pursuing X-ray crystallographic studies in Germany, in 1925 he joined the faculty at Oslo Univ. where he spent the remainder of his career. From 1930 onwards his work was concentrated on problems connected with molecular structure, particularly the structure of cyclohexane and its derivatives and other substances containing six-membered rings related to that of cyclohexane. He shared the 1969 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Derek H. R. BartonBarton, Derek H. R.,
1918–98, British chemist, b. Gravesend, England, grad. Imperial College of Science and Technology (B.S. 1940, Ph.D. 1942, D.Sc. 1949). He was on the faculty of Imperial College (1945–50, 1957–78), Birkbeck College, London (1950–55),
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 for their separate contributions to the development of conformational analysis, which is the prediction of the chemical and physical properties of organic molecules based upon a preferred conformation of the atoms in the molecule. They showed that the way organic compounds interact is linked to the way they assume certain geometric configurations. Thus, there exists a simple relationship between configuration and conformation, such that configurations can be predicted once the possible conformations for the products of a reaction are analyzed.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hassel, Odd


Born May 17, 1897, in Oslo. Norwegian physical chemist. Member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences in Oslo (1933).

Hassel graduated from the University of Oslo in 1920. Between 1921 and 1925 he continued his studies at universities in France, Italy, and Germany, receiving the Ph.D. degree in 1924. In 1926 he became a docent, and in 1934, a professor, at the University of Oslo, where he remained until 1964.

Hassel is one of the founders of conformational analysis and the author of many basic works on stereochemistry and crystal chemistry. He was the first to make use of X rays in the study of cyclohexane and showed that its six-member ring has a chair conformation; he later demonstrated that this conformation is also found in cyclohexane derivatives, which are systems containing fused cyclohexane rings, as well as in certain sugars, such as pyranoses. He proposed the nomenclature and designations of substituents in various positions in the ring.

Hassel shared a Nobel Prize in 1969 with the British chemist D. Barton.


Vilkov, L. V., and V. M. Potapov. “Odd Khassel.” Zhurnal Vsesoiuznogo khimicheskogo obshchestva im. D. I. Mendeleeva, 1975, vol. 20, no. 6, p. 695.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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