The History of Chemistry

90: Computerwelt

October 15, 2023 Steve Cohen Episode 90
The History of Chemistry
90: Computerwelt
The History of Chemistry +
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Show Notes

This episode focuses on the entry of computers into the chemical laboratory, which began in tiny doses in 1948, but expanded in the 1960s with the LINC at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a forerunner of the PC. We talk also of the growth of computers used to calculate and model molecular structures, from the 1950s use with x ray crystallography and some ab initio calculations, through semi-empirical calculations in 1965 and early computer graphics. The 1960s saw the introduction of the Cooley-Tukey fast-Fourier transform (FFT) for quick spectroscopy, which led to dedicated FFT spectrometers by the 1970s. Microcomputers became a part of computer laboratories in the 1970s and 1980s, from electrochemistry to analytical chemistry, and the very beginnings of computerized automation. And thus began the computer revolution in the laboratory in the 1980s.

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