Eigen's research helped solve major problems in physical chemistry and aided in the understanding of chemical processes that occur in living organisms.
In later years, he explored the biochemical roots of life and evolution. He worked to install a multidisciplinary program at the Max Planck Institute to study the underpinnings of life at the molecular level. His work was hailed for creating a new scientific and technological discipline: evolutionary biotechnology.
Education and early lifeEdit
Eigen was born on 9 May 1927 in Bochum, the son of Hedwig (Feld) and Ernst Eigen, a chamber musician. As a child he developed a deep passion for music, and studied piano.
World War II interrupted his formal education. At age fifteen he was drafted into service in a German antiaircraft unit. He was captured by the Soviets toward the end of the war. He managed to escape (he said later that escape was relatively easy), and walked hundreds of miles across defeated Germany, arriving in Göttingen in 1945. He lacked the necessary documentation for acceptance to university, but was admitted after he demonstrated his knowledge in an exam. He entered the university's first postwar class.
Eigen desired to study Physics, but since returning soldiers who were previously enrolled received priority, he enrolled in Geophysics. He earned an undergraduate degree and entered graduate study in natural sciences. One of his advisors was Werner Heisenberg, the noted proponent of the uncertainty principle. He received his doctorate in 1951.
Career and researchEdit
Eigen received his Ph.D. at the University of Göttingen in 1951 under supervision of Arnold Eucken. In 1964 he presented the results of his research at a meeting of the Faraday Society in London. His findings demonstrated for the first time that it was possible to determine the rates of chemical reactions that occurred during time intervals as brief as a nanosecond.
^ abWeisskopf, 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 (published 10 November 1967), vol. 158, no. 3802, pp. 745–8, Bibcode:1967Sci...158..745W, doi:10.1126/science.158.3802.745, PMID4860395
^ ab"Professor Manfred Eigen ForMemRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015.
^Winkler-Oswatitsch, R. (1987), "Manfred Eigen. Scientist and musician", Biophys. Chem. (published 9 May 1987), vol. 26, no. 2–3, pp. 109–15, doi:10.1016/0301-4622(87)80015-7, PMID3300805
^ abcdeWeil, Martin (12 February 2019). "Obituaries: Manfred Eigen". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
^"Manfred Eigen Festschrift: special issue dedicated to Professor Manfred Eigen on the occasion of his 60th birthday", Biophys. Chem. (published 9 May 1987), vol. 26, no. 2–3, pp. 101–390, 1987, PMID3300802
^Schlögl, R. W. (1997), "To Manfred Eigen on his 70th birthday", Biophys. Chem. (published 30 June 1997), vol. 66, no. 2–3, pp. 71–3, doi:10.1016/S0301-4622(97)00075-6, PMID17029872
^ abcd"Eigen – Biographical". NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB. 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
^Czikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (2013). Creativity: The psychology of discovery and invention. Harper Perennial. p. 54.
^"List of publications by Manfred Eigen", Biophys. Chem. (published 9 May 1987), vol. 26, no. 2–3, pp. 103–8, 1987, doi:10.1016/0301-4622(87)80014-5, PMID3300804
^"Curriculum vitae of Manfred Eigen", Biophys. Chem. (published 9 May 1987), vol. 26, no. 2–3, p. 102, 1987, doi:10.1016/0301-4622(87)80013-3, PMID3300803
^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: 379–424. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1981.0016. ISSN 0080-4606. S2CID 72584163.
^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: 257–283. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2004.0017. ISSN 0080-4606.
^Eigen & Schuster (1977) The Hypercycle. A Principle of Natural Self-Organisation. Part A: Emergence of the Hypercycle. Naturwissenschaften Vol. 64, pp. 541–565.
^Eigen & Schuster (1978) The Hypercycle. A Principle of Natural Self-Organisation. Part B: The Abstract Hypercycle Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Naturwissenschaften Vol. 65, pp. 7–41.
^Eigen & Schuster (1978) The Hypercycle. A Principle of Natural Self-Organisation. Part C: The Realistic Hypercycle Archived 16 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Naturwissenschaften Vol. 65, pp. 341–369.
^Manfred Eigen and Peter SchusterThe Hypercycle: A principle of natural self-organization, 1979, Springer ISBN 0-387-09293-5
Jackle H; Rotte C; Gruss P (2017). "Manfred Eigen: the realization of his vision of Biophysical Chemistry". European Biophysics Journal. 47 (4): 319–323. doi:10.1007/s00249-017-1266-y. PMC5982432. PMID29230510.
^Rotte, Carmen (7 February 2019). "Göttingen Nobel Laureate Manfred Eigen has died". mpibpc.mpg.de. Munich: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
Eigen, Manfred (2013). From strange simplicity to complex familiarity : a treatise on matter, information, life and thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-857021-9. OCLC 867631103.
Eigen, Manfred (1971). "Selforganization of matter and the evolution of biological macromolecules". Die Naturwissenschaften. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. 58 (10): 465–523. Bibcode:1971NW.....58..465E. doi:10.1007/bf00623322. ISSN 0028-1042. PMID4942363. S2CID 38296619.
Eigen, Manfred (1993). Laws of the game : how the principles of nature govern chance. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02566-5. OCLC 25787606.
Manfred Eigen tells his life story at Web of Stories (video)
Interview with Manfred Eigen by Harry Kroto, NL Freeview video provided by the Vega Science Trust.
"Falls ein Gott die Naturgesetze erschuf, so erschuf er auch das Leben durch Evolution" (in German) Interview with Manfred Eigen from 2004, Archive