Karle, Jerome

Karle, Jerome

(kärl), 1918–2013, American physicist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Univ. of Michigan, 1943. He worked on the Manhattan ProjectManhattan Project,
the wartime effort to design and build the first nuclear weapons (atomic bombs). With the discovery of fission in 1939, it became clear to scientists that certain radioactive materials could be used to make a bomb of unprecented power. U.S.
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 before beginning a career (1946–2009) at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. There, with Herbert HauptmanHauptman, Herbert Aaron
, 1917–2011, American chemist, b. Bronx, N.Y., grad. City College of New York (B.S., 1937) and Univ. of Maryland (Ph.D., 1955). In 1985, Hauptman and former undergraduate classmate Jerome Karle were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the
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, he concentrated his studies on crystalline matter. They were awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of a mathematical model known as the "direct method." Devised in the 1950s and 60s, the innovation greatly improved on existing X-ray crystallography methods for analyzing three-dimensional molecular structures. The more detailed knowledge that resulted from the method led to a better understanding of body chemistry and to the development of new drugs. Karle's wife, Isabella L. Karle, 1921–2017, b. Detroit as Isabella Helen Lugoski, Ph.D. Univ. of Michigan, 1944, was an X-ray crystallographer who also worked at the Naval Research Laboratory and first practically applied the direct method and showed that it could be used to decipher complex biological molecules. The Karles also worked on the Manhattan Project.
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Karle, Jerome

(1917–  ) , chemist; born in New York City. He joined the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. (1946), becoming chief scientist of the Laboratory for the Structure of Matter (1968). He and Herbert Hauptman developed a mathematical method for determining three-dimensional crystal structures of hormone, vitamin, and antibiotic molecules. He shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry for this work (1985).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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