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May 22, 2007


Theoretical Chemists Win Welch Award

Foundation honors pair for their achievements in basic chemical research

Jyllian Kemsley

In recognition of their work in theoretical chemistry, Noel S. Hush, a chemistry professor at the University of Sydney, in Australia, and William H. Miller, a chemistry professor at the University of California, Berkeley, have won the 2007 Welch Award in Chemistry. The Welch Foundation, based in Houston, grants the $300,000 award to honor achievements in basic chemical research.

Courtesy Of U of Sydney and UC Berkeley, respectively
Hush (L) and Miller (R)

"The fundamental theoretical work by Hush and Miller in chemical dynamics gives the scientific community powerful, basic research tools," says J. Evans Attwell, chairman of the Welch Foundation.

Hush is known foremost for his work on electron transfer, in particular a description of the activation process involving not only solvent reorganization but also the inner structure of the ion complex. Hush also investigated electron transfer between species covalently linked by a bridging molecule. He now collaborates on a research effort focusing on the theoretical foundation of electrode-molecule-electrode conduction in nanoscale electronics.

Miller???s research focuses on chemical reaction dynamics. His past achievements include developing a semiclassical scattering theory (the classical S-matrix theory) for chemical reactions, as well as a rigorous quantum theory of reaction rates. He is currently investigating a method for adding quantum effects to classical molecular dynamics simulations of complex chemical processes such as combustion.

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