DCW on David Mauzerall, from taped interview
Dec 11, 20004

The other person I'd like to discuss in this area is a man I was lucky enough to work with when I was a graduate student at Rockefeller. His name is David Mauzerall. He's still at Rockefeller. His latest work is truly remarkable; he's studying the details of photosynthesis. He's the first one to have demonstrated that when each electron of the four recovered by oxidizing water in photosystem II can be sequentially followed as a change of heat following photoexcitation if the measurements can be followed on a nanosecond time scale. He detected the four steps by measuring the change in volume as a sound with tiny a hearing aid speaker. He showed that the photons from his laser induced a charge separation with a different activation for each electron sequentially of the four reducing. This is just beautiful science.

There were courses we could take for meeting with these people and learning things like mathematics, which was actually the year before I got to Rockefeller. The teacher was retired from IBM Watson Lab, where he had invented three-dimensional chess. He was Ludwig Edelstein and he taught the students advanced calculus. Dave Mauzerall took the course, and during the final exam each student had one problem to do, except Dave Mauzerall, who had to do all of them, and he did. He solved them all. One of them was such an elegant solution that Dr. Edelstein thought seriously of publishing it.

Interview by Kenneth W. Ford

DCW, Kenneth Ford, and David Mauzerall