Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Experiment and theory in harmony

Mark A. Johnson at Yale University discusses how the two sides of physical chemistry have necessarily developed together, and looks at how their synergy dictates the direction of contemporary research.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Dirac, P. A. M. Proc. R. Soc. A 123, 714–733 (1929).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Moerner, W. E. & Orrit, M. Science 283, 1670–1676 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Gruebele, M. & Zewail, A. H. Phys. Today 43, 24–33 (1990).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Lewis, E. S. A Biography of Distinguished Scientist Gilbert Newton Lewis (Edward Mellen Press, 1998).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Smalley, R. E., Wharton, L & Levy, D. H. Acc. Chem. Res. 10, 139–145 (1977).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Kitsopoulos, T. N., Buntine, M. A., Baldwin, D. P., Zare, R. N. & Chandler, D. W. Science 260, 1605–1610 (1993).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Castleman, A. W. Jr & Jena, P. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103, 10552–10553 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Hehre, W. J., Stewart, R. F. & Pople, J. A. J. Chem. Phys. 51, 2657–2664 (1969).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Kohn, W. & Sham, L. J. Phys. Rev. 140, 1133–1138 (1965).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Johnson, M. Experiment and theory in harmony. Nature Chem 1, 8–9 (2009).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing