Sherwood Rowland spends his summers from 1953 to 1955 in the Chemistry Department of the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Here he leads an early experiment, putting a powdered mixture of the sugar glucose and lithium carbonate into the neutron flux of the nuclear reactor. The result is a one-step synthesis of radioactive tritium-labeled glucose, an article in “Science”, and a new sub-field of tritium "hot atom" chemistry.
Sherwood Rowland enrols at Rutherford B. Hayes High School at the age twelve; here he graduates before his sixteenth birthday. During several summers of his high school years, he is responsible for the operation of the local volunteer weather station, an auxiliary part of the U.S. weather service. In these years he develops a passion for naval history books and for tennis.
Sherwood Rowland dies in Corona del Mar at the age of 84 of complications from Parkinson's disease.
Sherwood Rowland joins the University of California at Irvine as Professor of Chemistry and the first Chairman of the Chemistry Department. Since 1973, the work of his research group gradually focuses more on atmospheric chemistry and less on radiochemistry.
Rowland attends an AEC-funded Chemistry-Meteorology Workshop. Here he hears Jim Lovelock’s observation of man-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) in the atmosphere, citing the molecule as a useful tracer for air mass movements because its chemical inertness would prevent its early removal from the atmosphere. Rowland starts thinking that the molecule could not remain inert forever, and he proposes a research programme to find out what would eventually happen to the CFC compounds in the atmosphere.
Sherwood Rowland works as Chemistry Instructor at Princeton University.
Sherwood Rowland enters Ohio Wesleyan University, where he majors in chemistry, physics and mathematics. During these years he plays in the basketball team of the university.
Sherwood Rowland travels to Austria for an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting on the environmental applications of radioactivity.
Sherwood Rowland is appointed Assistant Professorship at the University of Kansas. His research group is interested in the chemical reactions of energetic tritium atoms.
Sherwood Rowland enlists in a Navy program to train radar operators. The Pacific war ends while he is still in basic training near Chicago. The next year he serves in several Midwestern Naval Separation Centers. He spends most of his time in competitive athletics for the Navy base teams. He is then transferred to San Pedro, California for discharge from the Navy.
Sherwood Rowland marries fellow graduate Joan Lundberg.
Sherwood Rowland receives one third of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry along with Paul J. Crutzen and Mario J. Molina "for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone".
Sherwood Rowland, working with postdoctoral research associate Mario Molina, speculates that CFC gases combine with solar radiation and decompose in the stratosphere, releasing atoms of chlorine and chlorine monoxide that are individually capable to destroy huge quantities of ozone molecules. Their work gives rise to international restrictions on CFC use.
Rowland enters University of Chicago, where he earns his MSc with a thesis on the chemical state of cyclotron-produced radioactive bromine atoms. At his arrival Rowland is assigned to Willard F. Libby, who has just developed the Carbon-14 dating technique. Rowland attends courses given by leading scientists from the Manhattan project. In these years Rowland goes on playing competitive basketball.
Sherwood Rowland is born in Delaware, second of three sons, to Sidney Archibald Rowland, a mathematics professor at Ohio Wesleyan, and Margaret Lois Drake, a Latin teacher.
Sherwood Rowland earns his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Chicago .