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A look at the winners of Nobel Prize in chemistry

Created: 10/09/2013 10:05 AM KSTP.com

WHO WON?

Austrian-American Martin Karplus, 83, a professor of chemistry at the Universite de Strasbourg, France, and Harvard University; Michael Levitt, 66, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, who has American, Israeli and British citizenship; and Israeli-American Arieh Warshel, 72, a distinguished professor of chemistry at the University of Southern California.

FOR WHAT?

For creating computer models that help scientists better understand and predict complex chemical processes. They developed a program that blended classical physics, which works on a larger scale, with quantum physics, which works on the scale of an atom, leading to much more accurate results.

SIGNIFICANCE

It allowed chemists to simulate how molecules act in all kinds of environments, vastly speeding up the development of everything from new drugs to solar panels to catalytic converters in cars.

WHAT THEY SAID

Warshel: "You could use it, for example, to design drugs, or just, like in my case, to satisfy your curiosity."

Levitt: "It was just me being in the right place at the right time and maybe having a few good ideas."

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