Three scientists share Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry had gone to three scientists for the development of multi-scale models for complex chemical systems, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Wednesday. The prize was awarded to Martin Karplus (U.S. and Austrian citizen), Michael Levitt (U.S., British and Israeli citizen) and Arieh Warshel (U.S. and Israeli citizen), said Staffan Normark, the Academy's permanent secretary. The work of Karplus, Levitt and Warshel is ground-breaking in that they managed to make Newton's classical physics work side-by-side with the fundamentally different quantum physics, according to a statement of the Academy. The jury commented that the laureates in chemistry this year took the best from both worlds and devised methods that use both classical and quantum physics. "Chemists used to create models of molecules using plastic balls and sticks. Today, the modelling is carried out in computers," said the statement. "In the 1970s, Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel laid the foundation for the powerful programs that are used to understand and predict chemical processes. Computer models mirroring real life have become crucial for most advances made in chemistry today," it added. In a telephone interview on site, Warshel said he "feels extremely well" while watching the live broadcast. "In short, what we developed is a way which requires computers to look, to take the structure of the protein and then to eventually understand how exactly it does what it does," Warshel said. Born in 1930, Karplus obtained his PhD from California Institute of Technology and is Theodore William Richards Professor of Chemistry of Harvard University and director of a joint laboratory between the French National Center for Scientific Research and the University of Strasbourg in France. Levitt, born in 1947 in South Africa, got his PhD from the University of Cambridge and is now a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Born in 1940, Warshel received his PhD from Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and is affiliated with the University of Southern California in the United States. This was the third of this year's crop of Nobel Prizes, with each prize consisting of a medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 8 million Swedish kronor (about 1.2 million U.S. dollars). The annual awards are usually announced in October and handed out on Dec. 10, the memorial day of the death of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite. All prizes, except the economics award, were established in the will of the Swedish millionaire. The economics award was established by Sweden's central bank in 1968. Source: China.org.cnImage: Screen Shot On Youtube

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