Jerom Karle

Picture of Jerom Karle

Date of Birth: 06/18/1918

Age: 94

Place of birth: New York

Citizenship: United States


Then K. studied at New York`s City College, where he met with Herbert A. Hauptmann, a student from the Bronx. In college, K. studied mainly chemistry and biology and in 1937 received a bachelor`s degree. He continued education at Harvard University, where a year later he was awarded a master`s degree in biology. Over the next fifteen years K. worked in the State Department of Health in New York, and then entered the University of Michigan. In 1943, K. became a master of science and for his thesis on gas electron received his PhD in physical chemistry.

During World War II, K. was a member of the project the US Navy, and later - the assistant researcher of the Manhattan Project - scientific research to develop an atomic bomb. After the war, in 1946, Karl joined the staff of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington. Here, he met again with Hauptmann. 50-ies. for K. passed under the sign of cooperation: they both worked on the creation of a direct method of decoding three-dimensional molecular structures using X-ray crystallography.

When the X-ray beam is directed onto the crystal substance, some rays pass through the crystal, while others are deflected under the influence of the electrons of atomic nuclei. Rejected rays are recorded on a photographic film in the form of thousands of points that form a characteristic pattern. This figure is very vaguely reminiscent of the exact distribution of the atoms within the crystal. But by analyzing the intensity of the spots on the film point and location points K. Hauptmann and managed by applying mathematical formulas to calculate the phase of the x-ray beam, ie, the extent to which each beam is deflected when passing through the crystal. Based on these calculations of the electron density map of the crystal was created, which shows the exact location of the atoms, and therefore, gave a picture of the molecular structure of the substance.

X-ray crystallography was used to analyze the internal structure of large molecules for a number of years. In 1912, German physicist Max von Laue discovered the diffraction of X-rays by crystals. Later WL Bragg and his father HS Bragg determined the atomic structure of crystals of many types. James D. Watson and Francis Crick used X-ray crystallography to work on the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). These researchers, based on the bitmap on a photographic film, it is concluded only on the shape of the molecule, and the method developed by K. Hauptmann, and, allows you to correlate the intensity and location of the points with an arrangement of atoms within the molecule.

In 1953, Karl Hauptman and published an article on the results of their work. This extremely complex mathematical formulas rich tract seemed to have nothing to do with chemistry, and the solution with the help of previously hard not to succumb to the problem was met with skepticism and even hostility by many scientists involved in crystallography. The most significant obstacle to the adoption of this method is that very few chemists versed in the mathematical aspect of this procedure. As a result, CI Hauptman received no support from other researchers in this field, and the direct method of decoding structures remained without use for 15 years: The three-dimensional structure of an integral part of chemistry. To understand the molecular reactions and interactions of molecules with each other need to know exactly how the atoms are arranged in molecules. Despite the fact that there are other ways of establishing the molecular structure proposed by K. Hauptmann and direct method of decryption is not only more efficient, but also ensures the creation of an accurate, detailed picture of the entire structure of the molecule.

The most significant contribution made by K. Hauptmann, and after 1956, is the practical application of the developed method, particularly with regard to the crystals, which have no axial symmetry. In 1968 the research laboratory of the US Navy was established specifically for the K as head of research, and he headed the laboratory structure of matter. The recognition of the work done by him and Hauptmann work came in the late 60-ies., When his wife Isabella scientist, chemist and a member of the Naval Research Base, used this method in practice in the analysis of large molecules. The results of her experiments have convinced many scientists in the field of crystallography in the utility and high precision direct method of decoding structures.

Continuing to conduct research in the laboratory of the Navy, K. occasionally lectured on mathematics and physics at the University of Maryland College. He lectured in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada, Poland, Brazil and Japan, and in addition, led the Washington Colloquium on crystals, which takes place every month in the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution.

"For outstanding achievements in the development of the direct method of decoding structures" In 1985, K., and Hauptmann was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The recognition of this method of growing, and chemists are now able to use it to quickly exploring the biologically active components of molecules to create new compounds with similar properties. Due to the direct method of decoding structures, many drugs have been obtained, and in recent years - artificial analogues of steroid hormones for the treatment of breast cancer. This method is also used to study the enkephalins (natural analgesics produced by the brain) and to develop them on the basis of new drugs.

In 1942, Karl married a chemist Isabella Lyugoski. The couple has three daughters.

Among the large number of awards, which are awarded K. include: award for outstanding services to the state the US Navy (1968), Hillebrand Award of the American Chemical Society (1970) and a commemorative medal AL Paterson American Crystallographic Association (1984). K. - member of the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, the American Crystallographic Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Mathematical Society. In 1986, scientist honorary New York City College was awarded.