Walter Kohn (March 9, 1923 – April 19, 2016) was an Austrian-born American theoretical physicist and theoretical chemist. He was awarded, with John Pople, the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1998. The award recognized their contributions to the understandings of the electronic properties of materials. In particular, Kohn played the leading role in the development of density functional theory, which made it possible to calculate quantum mechanical electronic structure by equations involving the electronic density (rather than the many-body wavefunction). This computational simplification led to more accurate calculations on complex systems as well as many new insights, and it has become an essential tool for materials science, condensed-phase physics, and the chemical physics of atoms and molecules.
He had visited Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology in August 2014 for pre-conference meet to interact with our students, staffs and scientists from various research institutions.