ALS : Autograph Letter SignedHauptman, Herbert. American mathematician and winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his developments in the field of molecular structures of crystallized materials. Autographed manuscript, 23 handwritten pages, with scientific content neatly and legibly written in pencil. A rare and fascinating manuscript from Hauptman, the contents of which presented wide ranging and transformative applications across science, chemistry and medicine. The paper deals with his work on The general formula for the compound probability distribution of the real and imaginary parts of the structure factor derived for all rigid non-centrosymmetric and centrosymmetric crystals as a function of the indices. The probability distribution for the magnitude of the structure factor etc.. which was the work for which he received his Nobel Prize.
Hauptman, was interested in science and mathematics from an early age. He obtained his Master's degree in mathematics from Columbia University before embarking on a collaboration with Jerome Karle at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. and the University of Maryland. Hauptman and Karle applied their combination of mathematics and physical chemistry knowledge to tackling the phase problem of X-ray crystallography, which at the time was considered to be unsolvable. Hauptman was the first ever non-chemist to receive the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Herbert A. Hauptman and Jerome Karle “for their outstanding achievements in the development of direct methods for the determination of crystal structures”. The prize is being awarded for a methodology because of the great importance of this methodology for chemical research. Through Hauptman’s and Karle’s fundamental achievements, the methods have been developed into practical instruments for determining the structure of molecules within both inorganic and organic chemistry – not least within the chemistry of natural products. The determination of structure involves generating a three-dimensional picture of the positions of the atoms. The picture maps the electron density within the crystal the density is greatest at the centre of the atoms. It can never be less than zero anywhere, and this is the fact upon which the Hauptman-Karle method is based.