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Manfred Eigen

Manfred EigenBorn: 9-May-1927
Birthplace: Bochum, Germany

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Studied fast chemical reactions

Military service: German Army, anti-aircraft unit, World War II

Manfred Eigen pioneered new methods for studying extremely rapid chemical reactions called relaxation techniques in 1954, using high-frequency sound waves to trigger energy pulses in chemical systems, and calculating the rate at which these fast chemical reactions subsided. Eigen shared the 1967 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Ronald G. W. Norrish and George Porter. He also proposed quasispecies theory in 1971, using physical chemistry to describe aspects of Darwinian evolution as it pertains to certain self-replicating entities.

Father: Ernst Eigen
Mother: Hedwig Feld
Wife: Elfriede Müller (one son, one daughter)
Son: Gerald (b. 1952)
Daughter: Angela (b. 1960)

    High School: Gymnasium am Ostring, Bochum, Germany (1945)
    University: BS, University of Göttingen (1949)
    University: PhD, University of Göttingen (1951)
    Lecturer: Institute of Physical Chmistry, University of Göttingen (1951-53)
    Scholar: Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Göttingen (1953-58)
    Fellow: Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Göttingen (1955-)
    Administrator: Director of Biokinetics, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Göttingen (1962-67)
    Administrator: Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Göttingen (1967-70)

    Nernst-Haber-Bodenstein Prize 1956
    Otto Hahn Prize for Chemistry and Physics 1962
    ACS John Gamble Kirkwood Medal 1963
    ACS Harrison Howe Award 1965
    ACS Linus Pauling Medal 1967
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1967 (with Ronald G. W. Norrish and George Porter)
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member, 1964
    German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina 1964
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Associate, 1966
    Scientific Council of the German Federal Republic
    Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Author of books:
Das Spiel: Naturgesetze Steuern den Zufall (Laws of the Game) (1975, with Ruthild Winkler)
Stufen zum Leben (Steps toward Life) (1986, with Ruthild Winkler)


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