Grignard found that, in the presence of ether, magnesium reacts with alkyl and aryl halides at room temperature to form organomagnesium compounds. These solutions, called "Grignard reagents" react with most functional groups in a synthetically useful way. For this discovery, tremendously useful in laboratory and industrial synthesis, he was awarded the 1912 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (shared with Paul Sabatier, discoverer of catalytic hydrogenation).
Location in chemistry building:
First Floor; Room 138 North Wall; Sequence 4