Rudolph A. Marcus
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1992
Born: 21 July 1923, Montreal, Canada
Affiliation at the time of the award: California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, CA, USA
Prize motivation: “for his contributions to the theory of electron transfer reactions in chemical systems”
Prize share: 1/1
The transfer of an electron from one atom or molecule to another is a fundamental chemical reaction that underlies variable chemical processes such as corrosion and photosynthesis. From 1956 to 1965 Rudolph Marcus developed a theory for electron transfer among molecules in a solution. The theory takes into consideration changes in the structure of the reacting molecules and the solvent’s molecules. Based on changes in the energy of the molecular system, the speed of chemical reactions can be calculated.