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Neither Physics nor ChemistryA History of Quantum Chemistry$
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Kostas Gavroglu and Ana Simões

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016186

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016186.001.0001

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The Emergence of a Subdiscipline: Historiographical Considerations

The Emergence of a Subdiscipline: Historiographical Considerations

(p.244) (p.245) 5 The Emergence of a Subdiscipline: Historiographical Considerations
Neither Physics nor Chemistry

Kostas Gavroglu

Ana Simões

The MIT Press

Despite its arduous journey, quantum chemistry ended on a positive note: from the notion that quantum mechanics could not provide analytical solutions to nearly every problem of chemistry, to the advent of computers and their unlimited potential to generate numerical solutions of arbitrary exactness. However, computers have also raised concerns that quantum chemists progressively engaged in less and less chemistry. Many attempted to achieve a consensus about the degree of relative autonomy of quantum chemistry with respect to both physics and chemistry and, thus, about the extent of its nonreducibility to physics. This chapter discusses the status of theory in chemistry and the theoretical particularity of chemistry in relation to quantum chemistry.

Keywords:   quantum chemistry, computers, chemistry, quantum mechanics, physics

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