Posted on April 28, 2016
A Holocaust survivor who became founding director of the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara, Kohn helped make it possible to calculate more accurately how electrons flowed through materials. Decades later, scientists used his theories in computer modeling of complex molecules. “Physics isn’t what I do; it is what I am,” Kohn once said. He also had wide-ranging intellectual and humanitarian interests, and questioned where scientific advancement was taking the world.