Keith James Laidler Physical Chemistry

A pioneer in the field of chemical kinetics and activated-complex theory

The Story

After working as a scientist in England for Canada during World War II, Laidler eventually became a professor of chemistry at the University of Ottawa in Canada (1955). His specialty, chemical kinetics, concerns the energy disposition of molecular reactions. He is also an expert on activated complex theory which involves the mechanism whereby starting materials, and sometimes catalysts, combine to form intermediate complex states that go on to become the reaction products. He applied his expertise to the chemistry of enzymes and other biochemical processes and wrote numerous books, including Chemistry of Enzymes 1954; Principles of Chemistry 1966; The World of Physical Chemistry 1993, and many others. He has received many awards, including the Tory and Centenary Medals from the Royal Society of Canada.

Sources: Canadian Who’s Who 1993

The Person

January 3, 1916
Liverpool, England
Date of Death
August 26, 2003
Professor Emeritus of Chemistry
University of Ottawa
  • BA, Trinity College, Oxford, England, 1934
  • MA, Oxford University, England, 1938
  • PhD, Princeton, New Jersey, 1940
Last Updated
September 25, 2015
Profile viewed 28480 times

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