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 88)
Bochum, Germany
Nationality German
Fields Biophysical chemistry
Institutions Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Braunschweig University of Technology
Alma mater University of Göttingen
Known for Chemical reactions
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1967)
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 for work on measuring fast chemical reactions.


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

In 1967, Eigen was awarded, along with Ronald George Wreyford Norrish and George Porter, 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. He founded two biotechnology companies, Evotec and Direvo.

Honours and awards[edit]


Eigen's students included Geoffrey W. Hoffmann, Ariel Fernandez and Dietmar Porschke.

See also[edit]


  • Manfred Eigen and Peter Schuster The Hypercycle: A principle of natural self-organization, 1979, Springer ISBN 0-387-09293-5
  • Manfred Eigen, Ruthild Winkler: The Laws of the Game: How The Principles of Nature Govern Chance, 1983, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-02566-5
  • Manfred Eigen, "Molekulare Selbstorganisation und Evolution." (Self organization of matter and the evolution of biological macro molecules.) Naturwissenschaften 58 (10). 1971 pp. 465–523. In English. Influential theoretical paper on origin-of-life biochemistry.


  1. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1967 –". Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Editor, ÖGV. (2015). Wilhelm Exner Medal. Austrian Trade Association. ÖGV. Austria.

External links[edit]