Caltech Home > CCE Homepage > People > William A. Goddard
open search form

William A. Goddard

Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics
Contact information for William A. Goddard
Contact Method Value
Mail Code: MC 139-74
Office: 316 Beckman Institute
Phone: 626-395-3093
Email: wag@​
B.S., University of California (Los Angeles), 1960; Ph.D., Caltech, 1965. Noyes Research Fellow in Chemistry, 1964-66; Noyes Research Instructor, 1966-67; Assistant Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, 1967-71; Associate Professor, 1971-74; Professor, 1974-78; Professor of Chemistry and Applied Physics, 1978-84; Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, 1984-2001; Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics, 2001-.

Research Interests

Quantum chemistry, molecular dynamics, statistical physics: simulation and design of biological, polymer, ceramic, and metal systems; Reaction mechanisms in homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis; Prediction of Protein Structure and Function; Nanotechnology, bionanotechnology

Dual Affiliation with Division of Engineering and Applied Science

Assistant: Margarita Davis

The long-term objective of Professor Goddard's research has been to describe the properties of chemical, biological, and materials systems directly from first principles (without the necessity of empirical data). To accomplish this the group has been developing new theory, new methods, and new software. The group's approach builds from Quantum Mechanics (QM) through a hierarchy of more approximate methods suitable for longer length and times scales as indicated in the figure including Molecular Dynamics (MD), mesoscale dynamics, and macroscopic dynamics. The couplings between the length scales provide the means of determining the parameters [e.g. Force Fields (FF)] essential in the coarser descriptions. This research in methods involves