Thursday, March 25, 2010

A great quantum many-body theorist

Today is Ada Lovelace day [I thank Ben Powell for bringing this to my attention] and so I asked myself, "Which woman has made the greatest contribution to quantum many-body theory?"

Maria Goeppert-Mayer is best known for receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics for her role in developing the nuclear shell model.

However, she did more. In 1938, together with Sklar, she did one of the first non -empirical quantum chemistry calculations: the excited states of benzene. This is in a widely cited Journal of Chemical Physics paper.

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