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Fellows Directory

David Buckingham

Professor David Buckingham CBE FRS

Fellow


Elected: 1975

Biography

Amyand ‘David’ Buckingham is a chemist whose detailed study of optical, electric and magnetic properties of molecules and intermolecular forces has shed light on fundamental physical properties of matter. His career has been distinguished by the development of theoretical models and valuable new experimental techniques.

Many of David’s most significant achievements have arisen from his work on the electric and magnetic properties of molecules. With Ray Disch, he made the first direct measurement of a molecular electric quadrupole moment. His work has led to an improved understanding of the medically useful phenomenon of nuclear magnetic resonance. He has also helped to characterise optically active materials and the differing ways in which they scatter left and right circularly polarised light.

Appointed Professor of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge in 1969, David is a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Corresponding Member of the Australian Academy of Science. In 2007, he was the inaugural recipient of the Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences, recognising his pioneering contributions.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups

Keywords

Chirality, electric and magnetic properties, Intermolecular forces, Optical analysis

Awards

  • Hughes Medal

    For his contributions to chemical physics, in particular to long-range intermolecular forces, non-linear optics, problems related to the polarizability of the helium atom, the interpretation of NMR spectra, and the applications of ab initio computations.