Kenichi Fukui Biography
(Japanese Chemist and Winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Birthday: October 4, 1918 (Libra)
Born In: Nara, Japan
Kenichi Fukui was a Japanese theoretical chemist. He was joint recipient of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His works helped in reducing the gap between practical chemistry and physics and mathematical theories that influence the behavior of atoms and molecules. After completing his graduation in Industrial Chemistry from Kyoto Imperial University, he began his career at the Army Fuel Laboratory in Japan. Later, in 1943 he joined the Kyoto Imperial University where he worked until 1982. He then served as the President of the Kyoto Institute of Technology after which he took up the position of Director at the Institute for Fundamental Chemistry. In 1952 he presented the molecular orbital theory of reactivity. He also coined the term ‘frontier orbitals’. Though the theory was initially criticized, it was later accepted by scientists and his theory assisted in the better understanding of the process on chemical reactions in the formation of organic compounds. Kenichi Fukui was known to use complex mathematics to support his studies and research. He was the first scientist from Japan to win a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He authored numerous articles in Japanese and English on topics related to chemical relations, experimental organic chemistry, organic synthesis by inorganic salts, catalytic engineering, catalysts, polymerization kinetics, and the statistical theory of gelation.