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Charles Coulson



Charles Alfred Coulson FRS (1910-1974) was a prominent researcher in the field of theoretical chemistry.

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Educated at Cambridge University, Coulson’s interests included mathematics, physics, chemistry, and molecular biology. His use of quantum methods to study molecular structure led to election as a fellow of the Royal Society in 1950. He held academic posts at the University of St Andrews, University College London, King's College London, and the University of Oxford. At Oxford he was the Rouse Ball Professor of Applied Mathematics. In 1972 he became the first Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Oxford, and that Chair is now named after him. Many prominent theoretical chemists studied with him, including H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins.

Coulson wrote several books, but Valence, published by Oxford University Press in 1952, was the most influential. The 3rd Edition, Coulson's Valence, was published after his death by Roy McWeeny in 1979. Coulson also wrote popular works on atomic and molecular structure.

Raised as a Methodist, Coulson became a committed Christian in 1930. Beside his scientific works, he wrote Science, Technology and the Christian (1953) and Science and Christian Belief (1955), integrating his scientific and religious views. Coulson believed religious faith was essential for the responsible use of science. He championed the development of nuclear energy and encouraged scientists to help improve third world food production.

Coulson was a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and won the Davy Medal of the Royal Society in 1970.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Charles_Coulson". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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