Rudolph Arthur Marcus (born July 21, 1923) is a Canadian-born chemist who received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his contributions to the theory of electron transfer reactions in chemical systems". Marcus theory, named after him, provides a thermodynamic and kinetic framework for describing one electron outer-sphere electron transfer.
Marcus was born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Esther (née Cohen) and Myer Marcus. His interest in the sciences began at a young age. He excelled at mathematics at Baron Byng High School. He then studied at McGill University under Dr. Carl A. Winkler, who had studied under Cyril Hinshelwood at Oxford University. At McGill, Marcus took more math courses than an average chemistry student, which would later aid him in creating his theory on electron transfer.
He earned a B.Sc. in 1943 and a Ph.D. in 1946, both from McGill University. In 1958, Marcus became a naturalized citizen of the United States. After graduating, in 1946, he worked at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. In 1952, at the University of North Carolina, he developed Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus theory by combining RRK theory with transition state theory. In 1964, he taught at the University of Illinois...
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