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A Tribute to Klaus Ruedenberg


Xantheas SS, and MS Gordon.  2010.  "A Tribute to Klaus Ruedenberg."  Journal of Physical Chemistry 114(33):8489. 

Journal Article


“I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well" said Alexander the Great, the King of Greek Macedonia, about his teacher, the philosopher Aristotle. This statement echoes the widely held belief of the students, research associates, collaborators and admirers of Klaus Ruedenberg regarding his invaluable contribution towards shaping their scientific lives. This special issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry presents a tribute to Professor Klaus Ruedenberg, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, for his numerous scientific contributions to the field of quantum chemistry. The many outstanding papers that are part of this issue document his seminal contributions to a broad range of quantum chemistry, including the evaluation of electron repulsion integrals, the free-electron network model for conjugated molecules, the origin of covalent bonding, including the central role of the kinetic energy in the covalent bond, and the intrinsic identification of chemical bonding patterns in molecular systems, orbital localization that has enabled a deep understanding of many chemical phenomena, the multi-configurational self-consistent field method and the concept of the Full Optimized Reaction Space (FORS) to study chemical rearrangements and its application to the study of global potential energy surfaces and conical intersections, the first construction of systematic, eventempered sequences of orbital sets that approach the complete basis set limit, and the novel simultaneous extrapolation of basis set and level of theory to achieve nearly exact molecular energies and vibrational spectra. In addition, as past students and research associates of Klaus Ruedenberg, that is people whose scientific and personal lives have been critically affected by a great teacher, we wish to point out a less well-known aspect of his professional career, that of an educator. Professor Klaus Ruedenberg has a passion for communicating scientific ideas and educating students, whether they were at the undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate levels or whether they were visitors to his laboratory. No matter how much of his time it took, there were never any shortcuts or excuses, but also no pressure on the students. Knowledge was just there waiting to be gained - for free - by just mining a vast repository of mathematical, physical and chemical concepts. It is not hyperbole to stress his contribution in molding the scientific lives and in turn the personal success of so many people who have had the privilege to learn from him.


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