Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Three in U.S. win chemistry Nobel for computer models

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Three U.S.-based scientists won this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for developing powerful computer models that researchers use to understand complex chemical interactions and create new drugs.

Research in the 1970s by Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel has led to programs that unveil chemical processes such as how exhaust fumes are purified or how photosynthesis takes place in green leaves, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. That kind of knowledge makes it possible to find the best design for things such as new drugs, solar cells or catalytic converters for cars.

The strength of the winning work is that it can be used to study all kinds of chemistry, the academy said.

"This year's prize is about taking the chemical experiment to cyberspace," said Staffan Normark, the academy's secretary.

The three will share the $1.2 million prize.

All three scientists became U.S. citizens. Karplus and his family came to the United States as Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938. The 83-year-old U.S. and Austrian citizen splits his time between the University of Strasbourg, France, and Harvard University.

Levitt, 66, was born in South Africa and is a British, U.S. and Israeli citizen. He is a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Warshel, 72, was born in Israel and is a U.S. and Israeli citizen affiliated with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

When scientists wanted to simulate complex chemical processes on computers, they used to have to choose between software that was based on quantum physics, which applies on the scale of an atom, or classical Newtonian physics, which operates at larger scales. The academy said the three laureates developed computer models that "opened a gate between these two worlds."

The Nobel Prize in literature will be announced today, the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday and the economics prize on Monday.

All Nobel Prizes will be presented to the winners on Dec. 10.

Associated Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Three U.S.-based scientists won this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for developing powerful computer models that researchers use to understand complex chemical interactions and create new drugs.

Research in the 1970s by Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel has led to programs that unveil chemical processes such as how exhaust fumes are purified or how photosynthesis takes place in green leaves, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. That kind of knowledge makes it possible to find the best design for things like new drugs, solar cells or catalytic converters for cars.

The strength of the winning work is that it can be used to study all kinds of chemistry, the academy said.

"This year's prize is about taking the chemical experiment to cyberspace," said Staffan Normark, the academy's secretary.

The three will share the $1.2 million prize.

All three scientists became U.S. citizens. Karplus came to the U.S. with his family as Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938. The 83-year-old U.S. and Austrian citizen splits his time between the University of Strasbourg, France, and Harvard University.

Levitt, 66, was born in South Africa and is a British, U.S. and Israeli citizen. He is a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Warshel, 72, was born in Israel and is a U.S. and Israeli citizen affiliated with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

When scientists wanted to simulate complex chemical processes on computers, they used to have to choose between software that was based on quantum physics, which applies on the scale of an atom, or classical Newtonian physics, which operates at larger scales. The academy said the three laureates developed computer models that "opened a gate between these two worlds."

The Nobel Prize in literature will be announced today, the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday and the economics prize on Monday.

All Nobel Prizes will be presented to the winners on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

Three in U.S. win chemistry Nobel for computer models 10/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 11:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  2. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  3. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  5. Hillsborough County erects wooden barrier to protect Confederate monument from vandalism

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County workers began constructing a wooden barrier around the base of the Confederate monument by the old county courthouse Thursday evening.

    A Hillsborough County construction crew erects a wooden barrier around the Confederate monument at the old county courthouse Thursday, out of concern about potential vandalism. [Courtesy of WTSP]