Marcus, Rudolph A.

Marcus, Rudolph A. (Arthur)

(1923–  ) physical chemist; born in Montreal, Canada. He did his university work at McGill University in Montreal, taking his Ph.D. in 1946, then worked for the National Research Council of Canada (1946–49) before becoming a research associate in theoretical chemistry at the University of North Carolina (1949–51). After teaching posts at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and the University of Illinois: Urbana, he became the A. A. Noyes professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena (1978). During his career he was a guest professor at many institutions and the recipient of many awards, including the Wolf Prize in chemistry (1984). He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his mathematical analysis of how the overall energy in a system of interacting molecules changes and induces an electron to jump from one molecule to another; his findings have important implications for many complex chemical reactions from plant photosynthesis to corrosion. Although he performed his work between 1956 and 1965, it took 30 years for experimental confirmation to convince many chemists of the validity of his conclusions.