Jerome Karle


Jerome Karle

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Jerome Karle
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1985

Born: 18 June 1918, New York, NY, USA

Died: 6 June 2013, Annandale, VA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C., USA

Prize motivation: “for their outstanding achievements in the development of direct methods for the determination of crystal structures”

Prize share: 1/2


When mapping the molecular structure of molecules, it is important to study how X-rays, electromagnetic waves with a short wavelength, are bent by a crystal. What is important is the ray’s direction, intensity and phase—how the wave crests are displaced. During the first part of the 1950s, Jerome Karle and Herbert Hauptman developed a system of equations that used measurements of the rays’ intensity to determine their phases. This made direct determination of molecular structures possible.

To cite this section
MLA style: Jerome Karle – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Sat. 9 Dec 2023. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Streams during Nobel Week

Watch the 2023 Nobel Prize lectures, the Nobel Prize Concert, Nobel Week Dialogue, the prize award ceremonies in Oslo and Stockholm and Nobel Peace Prize Forum here at
Watch lectures and award ceremonies

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.