Michael Kasha

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Michael Kasha
Born(1920-12-06)December 6, 1920
DiedJune 12, 2013(2013-06-12) (aged 92)
Alma materCooper Union
University of California, Berkeley
University of Michigan
Known forKasha's rule
Scientific career
Fieldsphysical chemistry, biophysics
Doctoral advisorGilbert N. Lewis[2]
Doctoral studentsMostafa El-Sayed

Michael Kasha (December 6, 1920 – June 12, 2013) was an American physical chemist and molecular spectroscopist who was one of the original founders of the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University .[3]

Education and early work[edit]

Born in Elizabeth, NJ to a family of Ukrainian immigrants, Kasha studied chemical engineering at night at the Cooper Union in New York City for two years while working full-time during the days at the Merck & Co. research facility in New Jersey. He then received a full scholarship to the University of Michigan, where he completed a bachelor's degree in chemistry. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from University of California at Berkeley in 1945, working with renowned physical chemist G.N. Lewis.[4] Following postdoctoral work with Robert Mulliken,[5] he joined the Chemistry department at Florida State University as a faculty member in 1951.[6]

Awards and honors[edit]

Kasha was a Distinguished University Research Professor at Florida State University. He was elected member to the National Academy of Sciences in 1971, the first Floridian to be so honored.[7] He was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (in 1963),[8] as well as the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science.

Important contributions[edit]

The research in his molecular spectroscopy laboratory focused on the discovery and elucidation of excitation mechanisms, with particular application to photochemical and biophysical problems. His most important achievements include identifying triplet states as source of phosphorescence emission, formulating the Kasha rule on fluorescence, and his work on singlet molecular oxygen.

Kasha is also known for his interest in improving the sound quality and durability of the acoustic guitar and the classic string instruments. A 30-year collaboration with luthier Richard Schneider led to a series of innovative changes to the traditional classical guitar.[9] His guitar design was patented [10] and is known as the "Kasha guitar".



  1. ^ McClure, Donald S. "Biographical Memoirs: Michael Kasha, 1920-2013" (PDF). National Academies of Sciences. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  2. ^ El-Sayed, Mostafa (December 1, 1991). "Michael Kasha - Editorial, Biographical Sketch, Summary of Research Contributions, Research Associates, and Publications list". Journal of Physical Chemistry. 95 (25): 10215-10220. doi:10.1021/j100178a001. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  3. ^ Renowned FSU scientist Michael Kasha dies at 92, tallahassee.com, Jun. 13, 2013
  4. ^ El-Sayed, Mostafa A.; Barbara, Paul; Nicol, Malcolm (1991). "Michael Kasha - Editorial, Biographical Sketch, Summary of Research Contributions, Research Associates, and Publications list". Journal of Physical Chemistry. 95 (26): 10215–10220. doi:10.1021/j100178a001.
  5. ^ Berry, R. Stephen (2000). "Robert Sanderson Mullekin". Biographical Memoirs. 78: 146.
  6. ^ "FSU celebrates career, contributions of renowned scientist". Florida State University News. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  7. ^ Kasha NAS Membership
  8. ^ "AAAS Membership List". Archived from the original on 2014-08-30. Retrieved 2015-04-24.
  9. ^ kasha bracing design
  10. ^ Kasha Guitar Patent

External links[edit]