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Dudley R. Herschbach

Dudley R. HerschbachAKA Dudley Robert Herschbach

Born: 18-Jun-1932
Birthplace: San Jose, CA

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

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Crossed molecular beam experiments

American chemist Dudley R. Herschbach was first drawn to science by reading National Geographic as a child, and studied under E. Bright Wilson at Harvard, where he spent most of his academic career. Herschbach has been at the forefront of a new field of science, molecular stereodynamics, the measurement and theoretical analysis of vector properties of reaction dynamics. He won the Nobel Prize in 1986, for developing the "crossed molecular beam technique" in which molecular beams are brought together at extreme speeds for facilitate improved studies of chemical reactions. He has also experimented with catalytic supersonic expansion reactions, dimensional scaling, molecule orientation in collision stereodynamics, and slowing and trapping molecules, and played himself in a 2003 episode of The Simpsons.

Father: Robert Herschbach (rabbit breeder)
Mother: Dorothy Beer Herschbach (homemaker)
Wife: Georgene Botyos Herschbach (chemist, m. 1964, two daughters)
Daughter: Lisa Herschbach (chemist)
Daughter: Brenda Herschbach Jarrell (attorney)

    High School: Campbell High School, Campbell, CA (1950)
    University: BS Mathematics, Stanford University (1954)
    University: MS Chemistry, Stanford University (1955)
    University: MA Physics, Harvard University (1956)
    University: PhD Chemical Physics, Harvard University (1958)
    Fellow: Harvard University (1957-59)
    Teacher: Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley (1959-63)
    Professor: Chemistry, Harvard University (1963-76)
    Professor: Baird Professor of Science, Harvard University (1976-2003)

    ACS Award in Pure Chemistry 1965
    Guggenheim Fellowship 1968
    ACS Linus Pauling Medal 1978
    RSC Michael Polanyi Medal 1981
    APS Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics 1983
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1986 (with Yuan T. Lee and John C. Polanyi)
    National Medal of Science 1991
    ASCR Jaroslav Heyrovsky Medal 1992
    Sierra Nevada Distinguished Chemist Award 1993
    ACS Gennady Michael Kosolapoff Award 1994
    AICE William H. Walker Award 1994
    Council of Scientific Society President's Award 1999
    Aerodyne Corporation Scientific Advisor
    Exxon Faculty Fellow
    Journal of Physical Chemistry Editorial Board
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences 1964
    Council for a Livable World
    Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
    Harvard Society of Fellows Junior Fellow (1957-59)
    Los Alamos National Laboratory
    National Academy of Sciences 1967
    Science Debate 2008
    English Ancestry Paternal
    French Ancestry Maternal
    German Ancestry Maternal and Paternal
    Irish Ancestry Paternal
    Jewish Ancestry
    Dutch Ancestry Maternal

Official Website:

Author of books:
Dimensional Scaling in Chemical Physics (1993, physics; with John Avery and Osvaldo Goscinski)

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