, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 259-267

Quantum Chemistry Comes of Age

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On December 10, 1998, the 102nd anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death, in Stockholm’s Konserthus (Concert Hall), Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustav awarded one half of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (3,800,000 kronor, about $489,000) to Professor John A. Pople, 73, of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois “for his development of computational methods in quantum chemistry.”The remaining half of the prize, the ne plus ultra of chemistry, was awarded to Professor Walter Kohn, 75, of the University of California, Santa Barbara “for his development of the density-functional theory” [1–9]. Because of health problems in his family, Kohn was unable to attend the ceremony but presented his Nobel lecture in Stockholm on January 28, 1999. According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: “The laureates have each made pioneering contributions in developing methods that can be used for theoretical studies of the properties of molecules and the chemical processes in which they are involved” [7].