Rodney (“Rod”) J. Bartlett was born March 31, 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. He is the Graduate Research Professor of Chemistry and Physics, Quantum Theory Project, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA. He received his B.Sc. degree from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1966 and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1971.
He is married to Beverly, and is the father of two sons, Robert and Ron.
Bartlett was an NDEA and IBM fellow as a graduate student at the Quantum Theory Project under the joint supervision of Per-Olov Löwdin and N. Yngve Öhrn. He was subsequently awarded an NSF post-doctoral fellowship which he used to study at Aarhus University, Denmark, with Jan Linderberg. Then he was a postdoctoral researcher at the John Hopkins University with Robert G. Parr. Bartlett became a staff scientist at Battelle's Pacific Northwest Laboratory and then at Battelle Memorial Institute, Ohio. In 1981, he returned to Gainesville, as Professor of Chemistry and Physics, and in 1988 rose to the special rank of Graduate Research Professor, held by only a handful of faculty.
His contributions to molecular quantum mechanics: Bartlett has been widely recognized as a pioneer of rigorous many-body methods for electron correlation, in particula, coupled cluster theory and its finite-order many-body perturbation approximations, which are today’s central computational tool for accurate electronic structure predictions. Bartlett and his coworkers were the first to formulate and implement coupled cluster theory with all single and double excitation operators (CCSD) in 1982, followed by triple (CCSDT) in 1987, quadruple (CCSDTQ), and even pentuple (CCSDTQP) excitation operators and also many-body perturbation methods up to the sixth order. He developed a version of Feynman diagrams that both expedited the derivation of the equations and helped to visualize the physics of electron correlation. He promoted the concept of size extensivity (a word he coined) for many-body theory that scale properly with the number of particles, now viewed as an essential element of sound quantum chemistry approximations. Bartlett was also the first to explore the combination of coupled-cluster and many-body perturbation theories (in 1985) proposing vastly successful approximations like CCSD[T], the general reference CCSD(T), and the hierarchy of approximate iterative triples methods, CCSDT-n.
It is now widely agreed that the coupled cluster and the many-body perturbation methods that Bartlett pioneered offer the most predictive, generally applicable approaches in the field. These methods helped electronic structure theory be accepted by the chemistry community as a reliable and integral branch of chemistry.
Applications to Chemistry and Chemical Physics: Bartlett also used his predictive techniques to establish the existence of the fascinating, unknown molecules like tetrahedral N4 and the pentazole anion. N5 -, which stimulated large experimental efforts. They have since been seen in mass spectrometry (N3O+) for N4. They also studied NMR coupling constants (where before his work, there was no predictive method for them). Another first was for molecular hyperpolarizabilities and non-linear optics, where Bartlett’s group provided the first accurate quantum chemical results. Additional studies focused on carbon clusters and borane containing species.
Recent and Current Research: In other theory work, Bartlett introduced ab initio dft as the seamless connection between ab initio quantum chemistry and DFT and a new correlated orbital theory now being developed. Bartlett is among the most frequently cited chemists being listed at isihighlycited.com.
Publications: Bartlett has authored more than 530 peer-reviewed papers and chapters. He is the co-author with Isaiah Shavitt of the book Many-Body Methods in Chemistry and Physics: MBPT and Coupled-Cluster Theory, which appeared at Cambridge Press in 2009.
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