The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Wednesday awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to three researchers for developing universal computer models that have revolutionized the study of chemistry.
Austrian Martin Karplus, Briton Michael Levitt and Israeli Arieh Warshel developed multiscale models for complex chemical systems, an achievement that has allowed scientists to mirror real life and thereby to understand and predict chemical processes as well as to combine classical physics work with quantum physics, the Academy said.
Thanks to the computer models, scientists nowadays - for example - can optimize the functioning of solar panels and the catalytic converters in vehicle engines in addition to manufacturing better medications.
Up until the publication of the three award recipients' work, scientists had to face significant limitations when they tried to simulate molecules or chemical reactions on their computers, having to ignore key aspects of certain reactions such as interactions with the environment.
Born in Vienna in 1930, although he holds U.S. nationality, Karplus works at the University of Strasbourg, France.
Levitt was born in South Africa in 1947, and now holds British, U.S. and Israeli passports. He teaches at Stanford University's School of Medicine.
A dual Israeli-U.S. citizen, Warshel was born in 1940 in Kibbutz Sde-Nahum and currently is affiliated with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
The three men will share a cash award of 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million). EFE