Mukamel wins 2019-2020 Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry

By Mary Hanson
Department of Chemistry Physical Path Coordinator

Professor Shaul Mukamel will receive the 2019-20 Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry, administered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Theoretical Chemistry Institute (TCI).  Prof. Mukamel is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at University of California, Irvine.  Mukamel is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Mukamel’s interests focus on theoretical studies of ultrafast dynamics and relaxation processes of large molecules, biological complexes and semiconductors. Optical spectroscopic techniques provide a sensitive probe for molecular motions with rapidly improving temporal, spectral, and spatial resolution. Professor Mukamel’s group develops and applies many-body Green function techniques for calculating dynamical processes and explores the ways they can be probed using linear and nonlinear optical techniques.

“He is a brilliant scientist,” says Professor and TCI Director Edwin Sibert.  “His pioneering theoretical work on ultrafast nonlinear spectroscopies has laid the foundation for understanding how short intense laser pulses can be used excite molecules in ways that lead to insights into a variety of chemical processes.”

TCI established the Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry in 1991 in response to a generous bequest from Professor Joseph O. Hirschfelder (1911-90) and his widow, Dr. Elizabeth S. Hirschfelder. Over the course of his 40-year career, Professor Hirschfelder established himself as a leader in teaching, research, and public service at the university and in the broader research community. The award commemorates his role as a pioneering member of the theoretical chemistry field, beginning in the late 1930s.

Prof. Mukamel will visit the UW-Madison Department of Chemistry September 23-24, 2019 to deliver two public lectures in 1315 Chemistry Building.  Lecture details to follow.