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Physical Chemistry

Edwin S. Campbell

by Susan J. Ainsworth
November 29, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 48


Edwin S. Campbell, 84, a retired associate professor of theoretical chemistry at New York University, died on Aug. 27 of heart failure.

Born in Ada, Ohio, Campbell received a B.S. in chemistry from Johns Hopkins University in 1948 before earning a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

He taught at the University of Southern California and worked at the University of Wisconsin before joining the NYU faculty in 1955. He remained there until he retired in 1991.

Campbell’s early research work was on the chemistry of flames. Later, his research program focused on the accurate representation of the contribution of long-range electrostatic interactions to chemical structures, including water clusters and ice. Most force-field calculations used in simulations ignore the “cooperativity” of the interactions, but he was an early proponent of representing such cooperativity through induced dipole moments. Campbell also clarified the applicability of the widely used Ewald sums for computing the interaction energies of periodic systems, such as crystal lattices.

Campbell was a member of ACS, the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia.


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