(recorded in 2000)
Dudley Herschbach's research is devoted to methods of orienting molecules for studies of collision stereodynamics, means of slowing and trapping molecules in order to examine chemistry at long deBroglie wavelengths, reactions in catalytic supersonic expansions and a dimensional scaling approach to strongly correlated many-particle interactions, in electronic structure and Bose-Einstein condensates. His teaching includes graduate courses in quantum mechanics, chemical kinetics, molecular spectroscopy and collision theory, as well as undergraduate courses in physical chemistry and general chemistry for freshmen, his most challenging assignment. He is engaged in several efforts to improve K-12 science education and serves as chair of the Board of Trustees of Science Service, which publishes Science News and conducts the Intel Science Talent Search and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Hirschbach was born in San Jose, Calif. and received his B.S. degree in mathematics and M.S. in chemistry at Stanford University, followed by an A.M. degree in physics and Ph.D. in chemical physics at Harvard University. After a term as junior fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard from 1957 to 1959, he became a member of the chemistry faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1963 he returned to Harvard as professor of chemistry and was named Baird Professor of Science in 1976. Herschbach was the co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 1986.
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Original interview aired in 2000.
The audio files linked above are part of the National Academy of Sciences InterViews series. Opinions and statements included in these audio files are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academy of Sciences.