Manfred Eigen

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Manfred Eigen
Eigen,Manfred 1996 Göttingen.jpg
Manfred Eigen, Göttingen 1996
Born May 9, 1927 (1927-05-09) (age 89)[1][2]
Bochum, Germany
Nationality German
Fields Biophysical chemistry
Alma mater University of Göttingen
Thesis Ermittlung der molekularen Struktur reiner Flüssigkeiten und Lösungen aus thermischen und kalorischen Eigenschaften (1951)
Doctoral advisor Arnold Eucken[3]
Doctoral students
Known for
Notable awards
Dutch Queen Beatrix meets 5 Nobel prize winners (1983): Paul Berg, Christian de Duve, Steven Weinberg, Manfred Eigen & Nicolaas Bloembergen

Manfred Eigen (born May 9, 1927) is a German biophysical chemist who won the 1967 Nobel Prize in Chemistry[4] for work on measuring fast chemical reactions.[6]

Education and early life[edit]

Eigen was drafted into the German Army at 15 serving in an anti-aircraft unit and captured by the Russians at the end of the Second World War. He escaped captivity and walked to Gottingen where he joined the first post-war cohort of students even though he never finished his high school qualifications.[7]

Career and research[edit]

Eigen received his PhD at the University of Göttingen[3] and is a former director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. He is an honorary professor of the Braunschweig University of Technology. From 1982 to 1993, Eigen was president of the German National Merit Foundation. Eigen is currently[when?] a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.[8][9]

In 1967, Eigen was awarded, along with Ronald George Wreyford Norrish[10] and George Porter,[11] the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. They were distinguished for their studies of extremely fast chemical reactions induced in response to very short pulses of energy.

In addition, Eigen's name is linked with the theory of the chemical hypercycle, the cyclic linkage of reaction cycles as an explanation for the self-organization of prebiotic systems, which he described with Peter Schuster in 1977.[12][13][14][15] He founded two biotechnology companies, Evotec and Direvo.[citation needed]

Honours and awards[edit]

Eigen has won numerous awards for his research including:


  1. ^ "Manfred Eigen Festschrift: special issue dedicated to Professor Manfred Eigen on the occasion of his 60th birthday", Biophys. Chem. (May 9, 1987) 26 (2–3), pp. 101–390, 1987, PMID 3300802 
  2. ^ Schlögl, R W (1997), "To Manfred Eigen on his 70th birthday", Biophys. Chem. (Jun 30, 1997) 66 (2–3), pp. 71–3, doi:10.1016/S0301-4622(97)00075-6, PMID 17029872 
  3. ^ a b c d Manfred Eigen at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ a b Weisskopf, V F; Eyring, H; Eyring, E M (1967), "Nobel Prizes: 4 named for international award (Hans Bethe, Manfred Eigen, R.G. Norrish, George Porter)", Science (Nov 10, 1967) 158 (3802), pp. 745–8, Bibcode:1967Sci...158..745W, doi:10.1126/science.158.3802.745, PMID 4860395 
  5. ^ a b "Professor Manfred Eigen ForMemRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. 
  6. ^ Winkler-Oswatitsch, R (1987), "Manfred Eigen. Scientist and musician.", Biophys. Chem. (May 9, 1987) 26 (2–3), pp. 109–15, doi:10.1016/0301-4622(87)80015-7, PMID 3300805 
  7. ^ Czikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (2013). Creativity: The psychology of discovery and invention. Harper Perennial. p. 54. 
  8. ^ "List of publications by Manfred Eigen", Biophys. Chem. (May 9, 1987) 26 (2–3), pp. 103–8, 1987, doi:10.1016/0301-4622(87)80014-5, PMID 3300804 
  9. ^ "Curriculum vitae of Manfred Eigen", Biophys. Chem. (May 9, 1987) 26 (2–3), p. 102, 1987, doi:10.1016/0301-4622(87)80013-3, PMID 3300803 
  10. ^ Dainton, F.; Thrush, B. A. (1981). "Ronald George Wreyford Norrish. 9 November 1897-7 June 1978". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 27 (0): 379–424. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1981.0016. ISSN 0080-4606. 
  11. ^ Fleming, G. R.; Phillips, D. (2004). "George Porter KT OM, Lord Porter of Luddenham. 6 December 1920 - 31 August 2002: Elected F.R.S. 1960". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 50 (0): 257–283. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2004.0017. ISSN 0080-4606. 
  12. ^ Eigen & Schuster (1977) The Hypercycle. A Principle of Natural Self-Organisation. Part A: Emergence of the Hypercycle. Naturwissenschaften Vol. 64, pp. 541–565.
  13. ^ Eigen & Schuster (1978) The Hypercycle. A Principle of Natural Self-Organisation. Part B: The Abstract Hypercycle. Naturwissenschaften Vol. 65, pp. 7–41.
  14. ^ Eigen & Schuster (1978) The Hypercycle. A Principle of Natural Self-Organisation. Part C: The Realistic Hypercycle. Naturwissenschaften Vol. 65, pp. 341–369.
  15. ^ Manfred Eigen and Peter Schuster The Hypercycle: A principle of natural self-organization, 1979, Springer ISBN 0-387-09293-5
  16. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1967 –". Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  17. ^ Editor, ÖGV. (2015). Wilhelm Exner Medal. Austrian Trade Association. ÖGV. Austria.