'Green chemistry' wins Nobel prize


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STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- France's Yves Chauvin and Americans Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock won the 2005 Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday, for their work to reduce hazardous waste in forming new chemicals.

The trio won the award for their development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis -- which focuses on how chemical bonds are broken and made between carbon atoms, and which the Nobel Prize committee likened to a dance in which the couples change partners.

Metathesis has tremendous commercial potential in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and foodstuffs production industries. It is also used in the development of revolutionary polymers.

The process is used "daily in the chemical industry, mainly in the development of pharmaceuticals and advanced plastic materials."

On Tuesday, Americans John L. Hall and Roy J. Glauber and German Theodor W. Haensch won the 2005 Nobel Prize in physics for their work in advancing the precision of optic technology, which could improve communication worldwide and help spacecraft navigate more accurately to the stars.

The prize was given to the three for their work in applying modern quantum physics to the study of optics -- a pursuit that has led to the improvement of lasers, optical clocks, GPS technology and other instruments.

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