Awards: Lauded at Last

Like the Nobel medicine prizes awarded in October, the chemistry and physics awards announced last week were both belated and well deserved. But they were given for achievement so esoteric that few laymen could even begin to understand it. Said a Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences spokesman in announcing the prizes: "It would be almost impossible to explain the works of these two scientists to people other than scientists."

The chemistry prize went to University of Chicago Chemical Physicist Robert Mulliken, 70, for his molecular orbital theory, first published in 1928. With that theory Mulliken forever destroyed an established scientific...

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