Leading researcher in the application of Density Functional Theory to molecules, changing a fundamental way in which molecules are described.
Density functional theory (DFT) was originally designed to describe metallic solid state systems. With his co-worker J.P Perdew, Becke demonstrated that that DFT could be an effective tool in quantum chemistry as well, where it is used to describe the structure and energetics of molecules. Becke developed a valuable computational technique (NUMOL) which allowed a new level of precision. His work has led to advances in many areas of chemistry and physics, where his methods are used to calculate the molecular properties of large and complex molecular systems with an accuracy previously unimaginable.
When Becke was awarded the Schrödinger Medal in 2000, he became the youngest chemist ever elected to the World Association of Theoretically Oriented Chemists (WATOC).
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