Sometime in the next few months, a paper written by Chengteh Lee, Weitao Yang and Robert G. Parr of UNC’s chemistry department is about to exceed 40,000 citations in both the World of Science and Google Scholar databases.
The paper, “Development of the Colle-Salvetti Formula into a Functional of the Electron Density,” has become one of the bedrock works of a theoretical framework called Density Functional Theory, DFT. The work was important in the construction of the hybrid functional B3LYP that was central to direct application of DFT to chemistry and other related fields such as physics, biology and materials.
Robert G. Parr, a leading theoretician of international fame and awards, led a distinguished lab of theoretical chemistry here at Carolina for many years. Students such as Lee and Yang, the latter now a leading professor at nearby Duke University, were attracted to the chemistry department to work in the open and inclusive environment that Parr provided.
The above mentioned monumental paper from Parr’s lab is backed up by many other high profile papers, three with more than 2,000 citations each. Two of these are the famous Parr and Pariser papers of the 1950s that led to an understanding of the electronic structure of aromatic molecules. An additional three papers have been cited more than 1,000 times each. In 1989, Parr and Yang wrote the book Density-Functional Theory of Atoms and Molecules, that itself has more than 11,000 citations and is now a starting point for someone learning the field.
Read an Endeavors magazine story about Robert Parr: http://endeavors.unc.edu/fall2004/parr.html