divisions (one hesitates to stress the term division) should not be a complete outsider in any of the other three. That said, whether someone working in one of the “conventional” fields is doing computational chemistry depends: the term could be taken to mean calculation used to anticipate or rationalize experimental results, to predict unrealized chemistry, or to explain (usually puzzling) experimental results. So a kineticist might use computations to predict or explain rate constants, or an organic chemist might use computations to predict or explain the properties of novel organic compounds. 586 Answers
Work in one of the conventional fields is not, by tradition, regarded as com- putational chemistry, but it can become such if the principles of computational chemistry (such as computational characterization of putative intermediates and transition states) are applied to a problem in the field. Theoretical chemistry rates some special mention in this context. Nowadays this activity tends to be quite mathematical , but history shows us that theoretical chemistry need not be mathematical at all. From the first years of the crystallization of chemistry as a subject distinct from alchemy, chemists have utilized theory, in the sense of disciplined speculation. Nonmathematical examples are found in the structural theory of organic chemistry  and in most applications of the powerful Woodward–Hoffman orbital symmetry rules . References 1. Wilson EK (1996) Chemical and Engineering News, August 19, p 35 2. (a) Nye MJ (1993) From chemical philosophy to theoretical chemistry. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. (b) Gould RF (ed) (1966) Kekule symposium, Advances in Chemistry Series. American Chemical Society Publications, Washington, DC 3. Woodward RB, Hoffmann R (1970) The conservation of orbital symmetry. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim Chapter 1, Harder Questions, Answers Q3 The properties of a molecule that are most frequently calculated are geometry, energy (compared to that of other isomers), and spectra. Why is it more of a challenge to calculate “simple” properties like melting point and density? Hint: Is there a difference between a molecule X and the substance X? Properties like geometry, energy, and spectra are characteristics of single mole- cules (with the reservation that close contact with other molecules, especially solvation or crystal packing, can affect things), while melting point and density are bulk properties, arising from an ensemble of molecules. Clearly it should be easier to deal with a single molecule than with the hundreds or thousands (at least) that make up even a tiny piece of bulk matter. Melting points have been calculated  extracting thermodynamic information about the solid and liquid phases by molecular dynamics simulations .
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