Maier has shaped astrophysics, primarily through his discovery of three-atom carbon chains in diffuse clouds and his determination of upper limits for the spectrometric measurements of trace gases, called column densities. At Freie Universität Maier and Wöste will investigate spectroscopy and reactions of carbon chains and their ions.
John Paul Maier was born in 1947 in Great Britain. In 1972 he earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Oxford University. Since 1973 Maier has worked in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Basel, where in 1992 he was appointed professor of physical chemistry. Maier is the recipient of numerous research awards. In 1999 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in London.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation grants research awards to internationally recognized scholars and scientists from outside Germany in recognition of their lifetime achievements. The award winners are invited to carry out self-selected research projects in Germany in cooperation with colleagues. The aim of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is to promote international collaboration among scientists and scholars.