About the records

Title Records of Hurley, Andrew Crowther
Date Range 1940 - 1989
Reference MS174
Creator Andrew Crowther Hurley (1926 - 1988)
Extent 1.28 metres
Repository Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science
Abstract Andrew Crowther Hurley joined CSIRO, Section (later Division) of Chemical Physics in 1953 and remained until his death. He studied at the University of Melbourne and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was acknowledged as an expert on group theory and its uses in quantum chemistry.

Administrative Information

This collection comprises the records left by A. C. Hurley in his office and surrounding work area in the David Rivett Laboratories, CSIRO Division of Materials Science and Technology, Clayton, Victoria. Work on the archival processing of the records was performed on-site and the archivist was greatly assisted in the identification of materials and the appraisal of their archival value by Dr Victor Maslen and Professor H. C. Bolton.

  • The records have been allocated to 13 series. The codes used to uniquely identify each series range from HURLS001 to HURLS013.

  • Through the processing of the records, 1 provenance entity was identified. The code used to uniquely identify this provenance entity, i.e. records creator or custodian, is HURLP01.

  • The inventory covers items, and may include records of continuing value, records sentenced for destruction and records that have been destroyed. The codes used to uniquely identify each inventory item range from HURL00001 to HURL00208. The total collection occupies 128 linear cm of shelf space (or its equivalent).

  • The documentation of the records at inventory level started on 6 February 2004. The latest additions were made on 12 February 2004. The latest modifications were made on 4 July 2007. This collection profile was updated on 8 November 2007.

Scope and Content

Hurley's early published papers in the field of theoretical chemistry arose from efforts to overcome two limitations of the general molecular orbital theory of Lennard-Jones: its inability to account for correlation between electrons in the same space orbital, and its incorrect results for large nuclear separations. A determination to calculate molecular properties with "chemical accuracy" led Hurley to write many substantial papers; in this endeavour he recognized the potential of Moffitt's method of atoms in molecules, removed weaknesses from this method and developed his own intra-atomic correlation correction. Thereby, the general level of error of energies in small molecules was reduced from about 2 eV to a tenth of this value. A summary of his success in eliminating atomic errors from molecular calculations appeared in Reviews of Modern Physics in 1963. During this same early period, Hurley built on the ideas of Hellmann and Feynman and developed virial and electrostatic methods that provide alternative and computationally simpler paths for calculating molecular energies. Throughout his career, he maintained his early interest in group theory and used it to great effect in quantum chemistry and solid-state physics. Clear thinking and a good memory were two of Hurley's many attributes. He was able to detect inconsistencies in the scientific literature and to quickly recognize the essentials of problems posed to him, both within and beyond his chosen fields of research.

Adapted from: 'On the contribution of A. C. Hurley to theoretical chemistry' by V. W. Maslen, published in the International Journal of Quantum Chemistry vol.31 pp.339-343 1987.

Note: This guide contains a Career Summary, a Table of Contents and record series summary, the detailed description of the files, an Index and a list of abbreviations. Throughout the guide the 'File Title' is, as closely as possible, a transcription of the title given by the creator of the file. Extra description of the file is given in square brackets. The file descriptions and index are a guide to the collection and not a comprehensive reflection of its contents.

Published by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, May 2004
With support from CSIRO Devision of Materials Science and Technology and University of Melbourne
Listed by Gavan McCarthy
HTML edition Ailie Smith
Updated 8 November 2007

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