Yuan T. Lee
Born: 19 November 1936, Hsinchu, Taiwan
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for their contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes"
Field: chemical kinetics, physical chemistry
Prize share: 1/3
Chemical reactions in which molecules comprised of atoms collide and form new compounds represent one of nature's fundamental processes. At the end of the 1960s Yuan Lee and Dudley Herschbach began developing methods to carefully study the dynamics of chemical reactions. Beams of molecules with fixed amounts of energy were made to cross one another so that chemical reactions arose where the beams intersected. By measuring the movement, mass and energy of the molecules produced, the reactions can be mapped.