John Anthony Pople

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Sir John Anthony Pople KBE (born October 31, 1925 in Burnham-on-Sea , † March 15, 2004 in Sarasota , Florida ) was a British mathematician and theoretical chemist .

Bill Clinton meets the 1998 Nobel Prize Laureate. Pople is third from the right


He graduated from Bristol Grammar School, where a computer lab and scholarship are now named after him. In the early 1960s he moved to the United States , where he stayed for the rest of his life, but without giving up his British citizenship. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cambridge University in 1946 and his doctorate in mathematics in 1951 . In his doctoral thesis , however, he dealt with a chemical topic: the bond structures of water ( lone pair electrons ). The work was supervised by John Lennard-Jones . Pople saw himself more as a mathematician, while theoretical chemists see him as one of the most important representatives of their class.

His first major contribution in 1953 was a theory for the approximate calculation of molecular orbitals in π-electron systems, identical to the theory developed by Rudolph Pariser and Robert G. Parr in the same year and now referred to as the Pariser-Parr-Pople method . Then in 1965 he developed the method Complete Neglect of Differential Overlap (CNDO) and shortly thereafter Intermediate Neglect of Differential Overlap (INDO) for the approximate calculation of the molecular orbitals of three-dimensional molecules as well as several other methods for computational chemistry . In 1971 Pople was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , in 1977 to the National Academy of Sciences . He paved the way for the development of sophisticated calculation methods, so-called ab initio methods, which model the wave function from Slater orbitals or Gaussian orbitals . In the beginning, such calculations were very expensive to perform. The advent of microprocessors has made this easier to implement these days. Pople initiated one of the most widespread software packages for computer chemistry today , the GAUSSIAN program collection. Nevertheless, Pople was excluded from further development of the software in 1991. In fact, he was denied further use of the software. The reason for this was Pople's rejection of the commercialization of scientific software.

In 1986 he moved from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he achieved his early achievements, to Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. In 1991 he received the ACS Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research .

In 1998 Pople received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Walter Kohn . In 2003 he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II .

The Asia-Pacific Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists awards the Pople Medal to young scientists.

See also

Web links

Commons : John Pople  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. John Anthony Pople in the Mathematics Genealogy Project (English)Template: MathGenealogyProject / Maintenance / id used
  2. APATCC Awards