The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to three scientists for “the development of multi-scale models for complex chemical systems,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.
Martin Karplus of Harvard, Michael Levitt of Stanford and Arieh Warshel of the University of Southern California will share the 8 million Swedish Krona ($1.2 million) prize.
“Chemists used to create models of molecules using plastic balls and sticks. Today, the modelling is carried out in computers,” the Royal Swedish Academy said in its announcement. The three scientists “laid the foundation for the powerful programs that are used to understand and predict chemical processes. Computer models mirroring real life have become crucial for most advances made in chemistry today.”