Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to three pioneers of modeling ... - The Point

The – Published on 09/10/2013 at 12:02 – Edited on 09/10/2013 at 13:26

Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel are rewarded “for the development of multi-scale models for complex chemical systems.”

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2013 was awarded Wednesday at the Austro-American Martin Karplus, the US-Columbia Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel Israeli-American pioneers of modeling Computer chemical reactions. The three researchers are rewarded “for the development of multi-scale models for complex chemical systems,” the jury said in a statement.

MM. Karplus, 83-year-Levitt, 66, and Warshel, 72, were able to coexist in the study of chemical processes, and thus in software that rely on their work, the classical Newtonian physics with quantum physics that meets fundamentally different rules. The applications are endless, not only for researchers but also for engineers and industry. “The detailed knowledge of chemical processes to optimize catalysts, drugs and photovoltaic cells,” noted for example the Royal Academy of Sciences. All three work in the United States.

M. Karplus has an agreement with the University of Strasbourg (France) and a professor at Harvard professor. He joined the United States at the age of eight, when the Anschluss in 1938, he said on a website where he exhibited his photographs. Mr. Levitt, British born in South Africa, is a professor at Stanford University. Mr. Warshel, born in a kibbutz in 1940, at a time when the current territory of Israel was under the British Mandate, is attached to the University of South California. Their work is a huge step forward in experimental chemistry.

computer, as important as the test

“Chemists previously created models of molecules using plastic balls and sticks. Today, modeling is done on computer,” said the Royal Academy of Sciences in a statement. “The computer models that mimic real life have become crucial for most advanced chime in today,” she adds, explaining that “the computer is an equally important tool for chemists specimen “. “The simulations are so realistic that they predict the outcome of traditional experiences.” And, “in the 1970s, Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel have laid the foundation for powerful programs that are used to understand and predict the process,” said the Academy.

M. Karplus has developed what is called “the Karplus equation,” especially used in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), a phenomenon used in chemistry, physics and materials especially in medicine, with the famous magnetic resonance imaging (MRI ). As for MM. Levitt and Warshel, they were the first to publish, in 1976, the computer simulation of an enzymatic reaction, proteins that regulate nearly all chemical reactions in living cells. The three winners will receive their prizes in Stockholm on December 10. They share 8 million kronor (917,000 euros).

They succeed Americans Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka, 2012 winners. The chemistry prize was the last Nobel awarded in sciences, medicine after Monday and Tuesday physics. The literature prize to be awarded Thursday, the peace and the economy Friday Monday.

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