Lothar Schäfer received his PhD in Chemistry in 1965 from the University of Munich. From 1965-1967 he was a NATO Fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway; from 1967-1968 he was a Research Associate at Indiana University; and from 1968 - 2011 he taught Physical Chemistry at the University of Arkansas, where he advanced to the rank of a Distinguished Professor. His research was in Electron Diffraction and Computational Chemistry. In the 1980s he was able to attract a team of scientists who succeeded in developing the first so-called 'Real-Time' Electron Diffraction Instrument, in which the electron diffraction data are recorded electronically and in real-time, replacing older photographic techniques. The new instrument allowed new types of experiments in time-resolved studies of laser-excited molecules.
Lothar Schäfer has published some 300 research papers or essays in professional journals or books, and he is the author of two books: In Search of Divine Reality - Science as a Source of Inspiration, (University of Arkansas Press, 1998); and Infinite Potential: What Quantum Physics Reveals About How We Should Live, (Random House, 2013). Interest in his work has led to countless invitations to present lectures in Europe, the US, Canada, South America and Japan.