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Manfred Eigen

( Chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1967)

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Biography Manfred Eigen
Eigen, Manfred (Eigen, Manfred) (p. 1927). Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1967 (with R. Norrishem and D. Porter).

Born May 9, 1927 in Bochum (Germany), the son of Ernst Eigen, musician, and Hedwig Feld. After graduating from high school Bochum Manfred served in air defense battery in the last months of World War II. The thesis was devoted to determining the specific heat of heavy water and aqueous solutions of electrolytes.

Physicists who conducted research on sonar, found that the sound waves are strongly absorbed in seawater than in pure or in aqueous solutions of sodium chloride (salt). In 1954-1964 Eigen discovered that this is due to the presence in sea water of small quantities of magnesium sulfate. Sound waves of high frequency destroy the associated concentrations of ions, causing the loss of small amounts of energy a sound wave.

Thus, Eigen considered high-frequency sound waves as a factor leading to small changes in the chemical system. Observing the state of the chemical system with its small deviation from equilibrium, he was able to determine the rate of chemical processes, while unmeasured. Later, he used a very fast pulsed temperature and electrical potential, causing small changes in electrical conductivity or the absorption of light in chemical systems. Using these methods, called relaxation, which recorded the passage of chemical systems to the new equilibrium state, Eigen studied fast chemical reactions occurring during the time of one-thousandth to one billionth of a second. He has developed two types of relaxation techniques - both with single, . and with the periodic shift of equilibrium, . particularly, . investigated the kinetics of the reactions of hydrogen ions and hydroxyl ions from the acid-base indicators in aqueous solution (phenolphthalein, . phenol red, etc.),

. After two years of work in GцTttingen Assistant Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, Eigen was adopted by the staff of the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Max Planck in GцTttingen
. In 1964 became director of the Institute.

Eigen, D. Porter and R. Norrish, in 1967 shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 'for the study of extremely fast chemical reactions, stimulated by the disequilibrium with very short pulses of energy'.

In the 1970 academic interests Eigen moved into the problems of the origin of life. His research focused hypercycles: self-organization of individual nucleic acids in more complex structures, their interaction with proteins and the appearance of primitive genes.

Eigen - a gifted pianist, and enjoys mountain climbing and picking mushrooms. He likes to spend free time in the company of his disciples.


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Manfred Eigen, photo, biography Manfred Eigen  Chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1967, photo, biography
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