William Klemperer, 90, died on Nov. 5, 2017, in Watertown, Mass.
“An innovative, versatile, and ebullient physical chemist, Bill was among the world’s leaders in the field of molecular spectroscopy. By using molecular beam techniques, he obtained unprecedented resolution and chemical scope. Especially important were studies of molecules linked by weak forces. He also developed a theoretical model that explained the profuse variety of complex organic molecules seen in vast, frigid interstellar clouds. As with his science, Bill delighted in his rose garden, in his many intense friendships with colleagues all over the world, and in his joyous family life. He left a legacy of a loving, zestful spirit.”—Dudley Herschbach, friend and colleague
Most recent title: Erving Professor of Chemistry, emeritus, Harvard University
Education: B.S., chemistry, Harvard University, 1950; Ph.D., chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 1954; D.Sc., University of Chicago, 1996
Survivors: daughters, Joyce and Wendy; son, Paul; predeceased by wife, Elizabeth
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