John Pople

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Sir John Anthony Pople, KBE, FRS, (October 31, 1925 – March 15, 2004) was a theoretical chemist. Born in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England, he attended Bristol Grammar School. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1943. He received his B. A. in 1946. Between 1945 and 1947 he worked at the Bristol Aeroplane Company. He then returned to Cambridge University and was awarded his doctorate degree in mathematics in 1951. He moved to the United States of America in 1964, where he lived the rest of his life, though he retained British citizenship. Pople considered himself more of a mathematician than a chemist, but theoretical chemists consider him one of the most important of their number.[1]


Major scientific contributions

His scientific contributions are in four different areas:[2]

Statistical mechanics of water

His early paper on the statistical mechanics of water, according to Michael J. Frisch, "remained the standard for many years.[2][3] This was his thesis topic for his Ph D at Cambridge supervised by John Lennard-Jones.[1]

Nuclear magnetic resonance

In the early days of nuclear magnetic resonance he studied the underlying theory and coauthored a text book.[2][4]

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