Professor’s discovery sails to third-most read story of 2012 in scientific publication

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Professor’s discovery sails to third-most read story of 2012 in scientific publication

It's definitely not popular reading. In fact, it doesn't get much more obscure than Computational Chemistry Highlights (CCH), a publication for extreme chemists.

But among the folks who do the way-out stuff that gets noticed in CCH, UND Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of chemistry Mark Hoffmann is popular.

In fact, of the 62 highlights published in 2012 by this elite review, research by Hoffmann and his colleagues was among the top three most-read items.

Hoffmann is a theoretical computational chemist, which means he spends his research time theorizing about molecular structures and reactions that are difficult or impossible to observe in the laboratory. He's also co-project director of ND EPSCoR and associate vice president for research capacity building at UND.

"Having published the third most viewed article in computational chemistry in 2012 is sort of nice," said Hoffmann.

He and his colleagues Tryve Helgaker, a well-known Norwegian scientist, and co-authors E.I. Tellgren and K. Lange, also working in Norway, discovered a molecular-level interaction that science had puzzled over for decades but had never seen. Hoffmann and his collaborators found this arrangement of electrons – which chemists, physicists and astronomers figured was there but couldn't get a handle on until this research.

"We discovered a new type of chemical bonding," said Hoffmann, known globally for his pioneering work in the theory and computer modeling of chemical compound formation. "That's a pretty bold statement, but I'm not kidding you! It's a brand new type of chemical bonding, not previously known to science."

Contact: Juan Miguel Pedraza, writer/editorNational Media Relations CoordinatorUND Office of University RelationsOffice 701.777.6571| Cell 701.740.1321 juan.pedraza@UND.edu

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