Karle, Jerome

Karle, Jerome kärl [key], 1918–2013, American physicist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Univ. of Michigan, 1943. He worked on the Manhattan Project before beginning a career (1946–2009) at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. There, with Herbert Hauptman, he concentrated his studies on crystalline matter. They were awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of a mathematical model known as the “direct method.” Devised in the 1950s and 60s, the innovation greatly improved on existing X-ray crystallography methods for analyzing three-dimensional molecular structures. The more detailed knowledge that resulted from the method led to a better understanding of body chemistry and to the development of new drugs. Karle's wife, Isabella L. Karle, 1921–2017, b. Detroit as Isabella Helen Lugoski, Ph.D. Univ. of Michigan, 1944, was an X-ray crystallographer who also worked at the Naval Research Laboratory and first practically applied the direct method and showed that it could be used to decipher complex biological molecules. The Karles also worked on the Manhattan Project.

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