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Carnegie Mellon University
photo of Rudolph A. Marcus

Rudolph A. Marcus

Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 1992

Rudolph A. Marcus, Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, was born in Montreal, Canada. Marcus received a B.Sc. and Ph.D. (experimental research with Carl A. Winkler) from McGill University, followed by post-doctoral research with E. W. R. Steacie at the National Research Council of Canada (experiment) and with Oscar K. Rice at the University of North Carolina (theory). He has been a faculty member at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and the University of Illinois.

His research has been on almost every aspect of chemical reaction rate theory. Among the main lines are the "Marcus theory" of electron transfer processes and the RRKM (Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus) theory of unimolecular reactions. His contributions are in diverse fields and include atom and proton transfer reactions, enzyme catalysis, single-molecule studies of proteins, catalysis of 'on water' organic reactions, fluorescence intermittency of semiconductor nanoparticles (quantum dots), and "mass-independent" isotope effect in stratospheric ozone and other atmospheric molecules. A trademark of his research has been a strong interaction between theory and experiment.

Among other awards he received the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 1985, the National Medal of Science in 1989, and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1992. He is currently also a Visiting Nanyang Professor at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and a Distinguished Affiliated Professor of the Technical University of Munich.