Ralf Kaiser working with scientific equipment
UH Mānoa astrochemist Ralf Kaiser at work in his laboratory.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor Ralf Kaiser has been elected to fellowship in the American Physical Society, one of the largest membership organizations working to advance the knowledge of physics.

The American Physical Society represents over 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Election to fellowship in the society is limited to half of a percent of the membership and serves as recognition by the individual’s peers of his or her outstanding contributions to physics.

An astrochemist, Kaiser is recognized by the society for his pioneering experimental investigations of the chemical evolution of the solar system and the interstellar medium, the material occupying the space between the stars.

Kaiser’s research focuses on understanding how molecules form in extraterrestrial environments. Results emerging from his research are beginning to explain the astro-chemical and astro-biological evolution of the universe, and he has established himself as a leader in this field.

A distinguished scientist

A professor in the Department of Chemistry at UH Mānoa, Kaiser is a team member of the university’s NASA Astrobiology Institute, an international research consortium with a lead team at the University of Hawaiʻi studying the origins of water and life in the universe.

Kaiser also directs the W.M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry at UH Mānoa, an international facility that houses some of the most advanced research equipment in the world in the field of astrochemistry. The facility supports multidisciplinary research in the fields of astrochemistry, planetary sciences, astrobiology, material sciences and reaction dynamics.

He was awarded the University of Hawaiʻi Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research in 2007 in recognition of his scholarly contributions and was elected Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2005 and of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2011. He has published more than 250 articles in international peer-reviewed journals.

He received his diploma and PhD in chemistry from the University of Munster and Nuclear Research Center in Julich, Germany, was a postdoctoral fellow in physical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and conducted his Habilitation in physics in Germany and Taiwan.