Rudolph A. Marcus

John G. Kirkwood and Arthur A. Noyes Professor of Chemistry
B.Sc, McGill University, 1943; Ph.D, 1946; D.Sc.h.c., University of Chicago; Polytechnic University; McGill University; University of New Brunswick; Queen's University; University of Oxford; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; Universidad Politécnica de Valencia; Northwestern University; University of Waterloo; Nanyang Technological University; Tumkur University; University of Hyderabad; Fil.dr.h.c., University of Gothenburg; D.h.c., Yokohama National University; LL.D., University of Calgary; Noyes Professor, Caltech, 1978-2012; Kirkwood-Noyes Professor, 2013-.

Curriculum Vitae

Complete List of Publications

Assistant: Margarita Davis

Research in the Marcus group involves analyses and theories of a wide range of phenomena in chemical kinetics and in related processes.  Its primary focus is on formulating theories to explain new and sometimes unexpected experimental results, as well as improving the understanding of earlier work, and exploring the relation between phenomena in different fields. Recent examples are

  • The striking on-water catalysis of organic reactions in emulsions, related also to catalysis on hydroxylated metal oxides. 
  • The fluorescent intermittency in single molecule studies of semiconductor nanoparticles (quantum dots), and the role of biexcitons in the latter.  
  • Development of the theory for electron and hole injection from dyes into semiconductors, related to a photovoltaic solar cell. 
  • Enzyme catalysis, involving an origin of a temperature independent H/D kinetic isotope effect for catalysis under natural conditions, the abnormal Arrhenius pre-exponential factor in the catalytic rate of thermophilic enzyme operating at temperatures below its break-point, and the treatment of single molecule experiments on ATP synthase. 
  • The mass-independent isotopic fractionation in the formation of ozone and other stratospheric gases, as well as a detailed dynamical and statistical theory analysis of ozone formation from the recombination of O and O2 in the stratosphere and in the laboratory.

Recent Developments




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