Roald Hoffmann


Born July 18, 1937 in Zloczow, Poland.

Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University, USA.

American Chemical Society Awards: Pure Chemistry, Arthur C. Cope Award in Organic Chemistry, Nichols Medal, Pauling Award, Award in Inorganic Chemistry, Priestley Medal. Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1981 (with K. Fukui). National Medal of Science. Semenow Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Author of:

The Conservation of Orbital Symmetry (with R.B. Woodward); Solids and Surfaces; Chemistry Imagined (with Vivian Torrence); The Same and Not the Same; Old Wine, New Flasks (with Shira Leibowitz Schmidt); Oxygen (a play by Carl Djerassi and Roald Hoffmann); The Metamict State; Gaps and Verges; Memory Effects.

Important Contributions:

  • "Applied theoretical chemistry" is the way Roald Hoffmann likes to characterize the particular blend of computations stimulated by experiment and the construction of generalized models, of frameworks for understanding, that is his contribution to chemistry. In more than 450 scientific articles he has taught the chemical community new and useful ways to look at the geometry and reactivity of molecules, from organic through inorganic to infinitely extended structures.
  • Dr. Hoffmann has recently participated in the production of a television course in introductory chemistry, "The World of Chemistry."
  • Roald Hoffmann also writes essays on science and other subjects, poetry, notifiction and plays.