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Henry Eyring

Henry Eyring

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Henry Eyring was a Mexican
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

-born American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 theoretical chemist
Chemist
A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...

 whose primary contribution was in the study of chemical reaction rates
Chemical kinetics
Chemical kinetics, also known as reaction kinetics, is the study of rates of chemical processes. Chemical kinetics includes investigations of how different experimental conditions can influence the speed of a chemical reaction and yield information about the reaction's mechanism and transition...

 and intermediates.

A prolific writer, he authored more than 600 scientific articles, ten scientific books, and a few books on the subject of science and religion. He received the Wolf Prize in Chemistry
Wolf Prize in Chemistry
The Wolf Prize in Chemistry is awarded once a year by the Wolf Foundation in Israel. It is one of the six Wolf Prizes established by the Foundation and awarded since 1978; the others are in Agriculture, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics and Arts.-Laureates:...

 in 1980 and the National Medal of Science
National Medal of Science
The National Medal of Science is an honor bestowed by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and...

 in 1966 for developing the Absolute Rate Theory or Transition state theory
Transition state theory
Transition state theory explains the reaction rates of elementary chemical reactions. The theory assumes a special type of chemical equilibrium between reactants and activated transition state complexes....

 of chemical reactions, one of the most important developments of 20th-century chemistry. Several other chemists later received the Nobel prize for work based on it, and his failure to receive the Nobel prize was a matter of surprise to many. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences or Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien is one of the Royal Academies of Sweden. The Academy is an independent, non-governmental scientific organization which acts to promote the sciences, primarily the natural sciences and mathematics.The Academy was founded on 2...

 apparently did not understand Eyring's theory until it was too late to award him the Nobel; the academy awarded him the Berzelius Medal in 1977 as partial compensation. Sterling M. McMurrin
Sterling M. McMurrin
Sterling Moss McMurrin was an unconventional Mormon theologian and Philosophy professor at the University of Utah. He served as United States Commissioner of Education in the administration of President John F. Kennedy-External links:******]]** by Peggy Fletcher Stack, Salt Lake Tribune, February...

 believed he should have received the Nobel Prize but was not awarded it because of his religion.

He was also elected president of the American Chemical Society
American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society is a scientific society based in the United States that supports scientific inquiry in the field of chemistry. Founded in 1876 at New York University, the ACS currently has more than 161,000 members at all degree-levels and in all fields of chemistry, chemical...

 in 1963 and the Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the...

 in 1965.

History


Eyring, a third generation Mormon, was reared on a cattle ranch in Colonia Juárez, Chihuahua, a Mormon colony, for the first 11 years of his life. In July 1912, the Eyrings and about 4,200 other immigrants were driven out of Mexico by violent insurgents during the Mexican Revolution
Mexican Revolution
The Mexican Revolution was a major armed struggle that started in 1910, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution was characterized by several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist, and agrarianist movements. Over time the Revolution...

 and moved to El Paso
El Paso, Texas
El Paso, is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, and lies in far West Texas. In the 2010 census, the city had a population of 649,121. It is the sixth largest city in Texas and the 19th largest city in the United States...

, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. After living in El Paso for approximately one year, the Eyrings relocated to Pima, Arizona
Pima, Arizona
Pima is a town in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town is 1,965. It is part of the Safford Micropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

, where Henry completed high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 and showed a special aptitude for mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

. He also studied at Gila Academy in Thatcher, Arizona
Thatcher, Arizona
Thatcher is a town in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the town is 4,865. It is part of the Safford Micropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Thatcher is located at ....

, now Eastern Arizona College
Eastern Arizona College
Eastern Arizona College , is a community college located in Graham County, Arizona. The main campus is in Thatcher, with satellite locations in Gila County, and Greenlee County...

, where one of the pillars at the front of the main building still bears his name, along with that of his brother-in-law, Spencer W. Kimball
Spencer W. Kimball
Spencer Woolley Kimball was the twelfth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1973 until his death in 1985.-Ancestry:...

, later president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His father was the last mainstream LDS to practice polygamy, which he did until 1954 when one of his two wives died.

By 1919, Eyring had received a state fellowship to the University of Arizona
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...

, where he received degrees in mining engineering
Mining engineering
Mining engineering is an engineering discipline that involves the practice, the theory, the science, the technology, and application of extracting and processing minerals from a naturally occurring environment. Mining engineering also includes processing minerals for additional value.Mineral...

, metallurgy
Metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

, and chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

. He subsequently pursued and received his doctoral degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 in 1927 for a thesis entitled: A Comparison of the Ionization by, and Stopping Power for, Alpha Particles of Elements and Compounds.

After a review of his dissertation, Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

 recruited Eyring as an instructor in 1931. He would continue his work at Princeton until 1946 when he was offered a position as dean
Dean (education)
In academic administration, a dean is a person with significant authority over a specific academic unit, or over a specific area of concern, or both...

 of the graduate school at the University of Utah
University of Utah
The University of Utah, also known as the U or the U of U, is a public, coeducational research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah's oldest...

. The chemistry building on the University of Utah campus is now named in his honor.

He had three sons with his wife, Mildred Bennion. The oldest, Edward M. "Ted" Eyring is a chemistry professor at the University of Utah
University of Utah
The University of Utah, also known as the U or the U of U, is a public, coeducational research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah's oldest...

. Henry B. Eyring
Henry B. Eyring
Henry Bennion Eyring is an American educational administrator, author, and religious leader. In 2008 Eyring became First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . Eyring was the Second Counselor to Gordon B. Hinckley in the First Presidency from October...

 is the First Counselor in the First Presidency
First Presidency (LDS Church)
The First Presidency is the presiding or governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . It is composed of the President of the Church and his counselors. The First Presidency currently consists of President Thomas S. Monson and his two counselors, Henry B...

 of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Harden B. Eyring, is a higher education administrator for the State of Utah.

Religious beliefs


Eyring was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout his life. His views of science and religion were captured in this quote: "Is there any conflict between science and religion? There is no conflict in the mind of God, but often there is conflict in the minds of men."

As a member of the LDS Church, he served as a branch president
Branch President
A branch president is a leader of a "branch" congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The calling of branch president is very similar to the calling of bishop, except that instead of presiding over a ward, the branch president presides over a branch...

, district president, and, for over twenty years, a member of the general board of the Deseret Sunday School Union.

Awards

  • AAAS
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the...

     Newcomb Cleveland Prize
    Newcomb Cleveland Prize
    The Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science is annually awarded to author of outstanding scientific paper published in the Research Articles or Reports sections of Science...

     (1932)
  • Bingham
    Eugene C. Bingham
    Eugene Cook Bingham was a professor and head of the Department of Chemistry at Lafayette College. Bingham made many contributions to rheology, a term he is credited with introducing. He was a pioneer in both its theory and practice...

     Medal (1949) of the Society of Rheology
    Rheology
    Rheology is the study of the flow of matter, primarily in the liquid state, but also as 'soft solids' or solids under conditions in which they respond with plastic flow rather than deforming elastically in response to an applied force....

  • Peter Debye Award
    Peter Debye Award
    The Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry is awarded annually by the American Chemical Society to encourage and reward outstanding research in Physical Chemistry. The award is granted without regard to age or nationality.-Past recipients:*2011 Louis E. Brus...

     in Physical Chemistry (1964)
  • National Medal of Science
    National Medal of Science
    The National Medal of Science is an honor bestowed by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and...

     (1966)
  • Irving Langmuir Award
    Irving Langmuir Award
    The Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics is awarded annually, in even years by the American Chemical Society and in odd years by the American Physical Society. The award is meant to recognize and encourage outstanding interdisciplinary research in chemistry and physics, in the spirit of Irving...

     (1967)
  • Linus Pauling Award
    Linus Pauling Award
    The Linus Pauling Award is an award recognizing outstanding achievement in chemistry. It is awarded annually by the Puget Sound, Oregon, and Portland Sections of the American Chemical Society, and is named after the US chemist Linus Pauling , to whom it was first awarded in 1966.Another Linus...

     (1969)
  • Elliott Cresson Medal
    Elliott Cresson Medal
    The Elliott Cresson Medal, also known as the Elliott Cresson Gold Medal, was the highest award given by the Franklin Institute. The award was established by Elliott Cresson, life member of the Franklin Institute, with $1,000 granted in 1848...

     (1969) from the Franklin Institute
    Franklin Institute
    The Franklin Institute is a museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the United States, dating to 1824. The Institute also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.-History:On February 5, 1824, Samuel Vaughn Merrick and...

  • T. W. Richards Medal (1975)
  • Priestley Medal
    Priestley Medal
    The Priestley Medal is the highest honor conferred by the American Chemical Society and is awarded for distinguished service in the field of chemistry. Established in 1922, the award is named after Joseph Priestley, the discoverer of oxygen who immigrated to the United States of America in 1794...

     (1975)
  • Berzelius Medal (1979)
  • Wolf Prize (1980)
  • Member of International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science
    International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science
    The International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science is an international scientific learned society covering all applications of quantum theory to chemistry and chemical physics. It was created in Menton in 1967. The founding members were Raymond Daudel, Per-Olov Löwdin, Robert G. Parr, John...


Scientific publications: books


Henry Eyring authored, co-authored, or edited the following books or journals:
  • A generalized theory of plasticity involving the virial theorem
  • The activated complex in chemisorption and catalysis
  • An examination into the origin, possible synthesis, and physical properties of diamonds
  • Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
  • Basic chemical kinetics
  • Deformation Kinetics with Alexander Stephen Krausz
  • Electrochemistry
  • Kinetic evidence of phase structure
  • Modern Chemical Kinetics
  • Non-classical reaction kinetics
  • Physical Chemistry, an Advanced Treatise (1970)
  • Quantum Chemistry
  • Reactions in condensed phases
  • The significance of isotopic reactions in rate theory
  • Significant Liquid Structures
  • Some aspects of catalytic hydrogenation
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Statistical Mechanics and Dynamics
  • Theoretical Chemistry: Advances and Perspectives. Volume 2
  • The Theory of Rate Processes in Biology and Medicine with Frank H. Johnson and Betsy Jones Stover
  • Theory of Optical Activity (Monographs on Chemistry series) with D.J. Caldwell
  • Time and Change
  • Valency

Religious publications: books

  • Reflections of a Scientist (1983)
  • The Faith of a Scientist. Bookcraft, Inc. (1967)
  • Science and your Faith in God. Bookcraft, Inc. (1958)

See also

  • Eyring equation
    Eyring equation
    The Eyring equation also known as Eyring–Polanyi equation in chemical kinetics relates the reaction rate to temperature. It was developed almost simultaneously in 1935 by Henry Eyring, M.G. Evans and Michael Polanyi...

  • Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring
    Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring
    Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring is a book about Henry Eyring, who from 1930 to 1980 made substantial contributions to theoretical chemistry while also speaking and writing extensively about the compatibility of science and religion. The book, written twenty-six years after...

     - book about Henry Eyring.
  • Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring - video about Henry Eyring.

External links