Nobel Prize winner Henry Taube dies at 89

November 18, 2005

Nobel Prize winner Henry Taube, who described how electrons hop between molecules during chemical reactions, has died at age 89. He died Wednesday at his home on the campus of Stanford University, where he had taught since 1962, it was reported Friday.

His 1983 Nobel Prize in chemistry noted 18 specific instances in which Taube had "been first with major discoveries in the entire field of chemistry," calling him "one of the most creative research workers of our age," The Los Angeles Times said.

Taube found that electrically charged atoms had to form a chemical bridge before electrons could move between them. Previously, scientists thought these reactions simply involved the transfer of electrons.

Born in Neudorf, Saskatchewan, Taube, a son of immigrant farmers from Russia, earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Saskatchewan. He completed his doctoral degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1940.

He taught at Cornell University and the University of Chicago before joining Stanford.

Taube is survived by his wife, Mary; two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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