Quantum Achievements Win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

John A. Pople Sharing the 1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry are a physicist and a developer of computational codes that made the physicist's concepts more easily applicable to the study of large molecular systems. Walter Kohn, 75, of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and John A. Pople, 72, of Northwestern University, have made pioneering contributions in developing quantum chemistry methods that can be used for theoretical studies of the properties of molecules and the chemical proces

Ilene Schneider
Nov 22, 1998


John A. Pople
Sharing the 1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry are a physicist and a developer of computational codes that made the physicist's concepts more easily applicable to the study of large molecular systems. Walter Kohn, 75, of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and John A. Pople, 72, of Northwestern University, have made pioneering contributions in developing quantum chemistry methods that can be used for theoretical studies of the properties of molecules and the chemical processes in which they are involved. Kohn was cited for the development of the density-functional theory and Pople for the development of computational methods in quantum chemistry.

Kohn, a physicist, says of winning the chemistry prize: "You may think they made a mistake, but interdisciplinary acts can be fruitful."

Quantum mechanics makes it theoretically possible to understand and calculate how electrons and atomic nuclei interact to build up matter in all its forms....

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