Manfred Eigen


Chemistry

Manfred Eigen won half the Nobel prize in chemistry "for studies of extremely fast chemical reactions, effected by disturbing the equilibrium by means of very short pulses of energy.” The other half was won jointly by Ronald Norrish and George Porter. Manfred Eigen began wondering about the rate of chemical reactions when he read in a physical chemistry textbook that neutralization reactions were too fast to be measured. He measured some multi-step reactions using sound waves, refraction of light waves from an acoustic field, electric fields, and then pulsed electric fields. Using the pulsed electric fields, the immeasurable became measurable!

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