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Inga Fischer-Hjalmars (1918-2008): Swedish pharmacist, humanist, and pioneer quantum chemist
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemistry, Applied Physical Chemistry.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Chemical Education, ISSN 0021-9584, E-ISSN 1938-1328, Vol. 89, no 10, 1274-1279 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

A wide variety of questions can be asked about the molecules that compose the physical reality around us and constitute biological life. Some of these questions are answered by the science called biology, others find their answer in chemistry, whereas the answers to the most fundamental questions are only to be found in the theories of physics. Inga Fischer-Hjalmars (born Fischer) belonged to the rare group of scientists who asked questions of all these kinds. Her life and career is a fascinating story of devotion, strive, and an unyielding curiosity about nature. As a young pharmacist, she had a central role in the development of the local anesthetic Xylocaine (also known as lidocaine), but the major part of her career was dedicated to explain the biological, chemical, and physical properties of molecules using the most fundamental principles available: quantum mechanics. Inga Fischer-Hjalmars was a pioneer in applying quantum mechanics to chemical problems, and she became the first female professor in theoretical physics in Sweden. Beside her scientific work, Inga Fischer-Hjalmars was a human rights activist dedicated to the freedom of oppositional and Jewish scientists in the Soviet Union. For this engagement, she was awarded with the New York Academy of Science's Human Rights of Scientists Award in 1990.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 89, no 10, 1274-1279 p.
Keyword [en]
Drugs/Pharmaceuticals, First-Year Undergraduate/General, History/Philosophy, MO Theory, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Quantum Chemistry, Upper-Division Undergraduate, Valence Bond Theory, Women in Chemistry
National Category
Chemical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-103648DOI: 10.1021/ed300024gISI: 000308788300010ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84866170658OAI: diva2:561517

QC 20121019

Available from: 2012-10-19 Created: 2012-10-17 Last updated: 2012-10-29Bibliographically approved

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