Kohn, Walter

Kohn, Walter, 1923–, American physicist, b. Vienna, Austria, Ph.D. Harvard, 1948. Kohn taught at Carnegie Institute of Technology from 1950 to 1960 and at the Univ. of California, San Diego, from 1960 to 1979. He has been a professor at the Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, since 1979. In 1998 Kohn received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with John Pople for his development of the density-functional theory, a method for calculating the properties of molecules that was computationally simpler than previous techniques. With the advent of supercomputers, his work has become a critical tool in the field of electronic materials science.

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