Professor Richard Zare ForMemRS

Richard Zare is an American physical chemist whose research applies lasers to chemical reactions as part of efforts to better understand how they operate at the molecular level. His work has helped to establish laser-induced fluorescence as a popular experimental tool.

His areas of study include the angular analysis of photodissociation fragments, multiphoton ionization in molecular beams and laser mass spectrometry. In the field of astrobiology, Richard contributed to a 1996 study that announced the first possible fossil evidence of microbes within a meteorite that originated from Mars. He is also the author of several textbooks on angular momentum and serves on the advisory board of a number of prominent scientific journals.

Richard has received numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the US National Medal of Science and the Wolf Prize in Chemistry. He has also been elected to the membership of various prestigious scientific organisations, including the American Philosophical Society and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Subject groups

  • Chemistry

    Chemistry, physical


  • King Faisal International Prize

    In the field of chemistry.

  • Wolf Prize

    In the field of chemistry for his ingenious applications of laser techniques, for identifying complex mechanisms in molecules, and their use in analytical chemistry.

Professor Richard Zare ForMemRS
Elected 1999