The French chemist Marcelin Berthelot put forward a classical and by now an often cited sentence revealing the quintessence of the chemical science: "La Chimie cree son objet". This is certainly true because the largest number of molecular compounds were and are continuously synthesized by chemists themselves. However, modern computational quantum chemistry has reached a state of maturity that one can safely say: "La Chimie Theorique cree son objet" as well. Indeed, modern theoretical chemistry is able today to provide reliable results on elusive systems such as short living species, reactive intermediates and molecules which will perhaps never be synthesized because of one or another type of instability. It is capable of yielding precious information on the nature of the transition states, reaction paths etc. Additionally, computational chemistry gives some details of the electronic and geometric structure of molecules which remain hidden in experimental examinations. Hence, it follows that powerful numerical techniques have substantially enlarged the domain of classical chemistry. On the other hand, interpretive quantum chemistry has provided a conceptual framework which enabled rationalization and understanding of the precise data offered either by experiment or theory. It is modelling which gives a penetrating insight into the chemical phenomena and provides order in raw experimental results which would otherwise represent just a large catalogue of unrelated facts.
"Imagination and shrewd guesswork are powerful instruments for acquiring scientific knowledge . . . " 1. H. van't Hoff The last decades have witnessed a rapid growth of quantum chemistry and a tremendous increase in the number of very accurate ab initio calculations of the electronic structure of molecules yielding results of admirable accuracy. This dramatic progress has opened a new stage in the quantum mechanical description of matter at the molecular level. In the first place, highly accurate results provide severe tests of the quantum mecha nics. Secondly, modern quantitative computational ab initio methods can be synergetically combined with various experimen tal techniques thus enabling precise numerical characterization of molecular properties better than ever anticipated earlier. However, the role of theory is not exhausted in disclosing the fundamental laws of Nature and production of ever increasing sets of data of high accuracy. It has to provide additionally a means of systematization, recognition of regularities, and ratio nalization of the myriads of established facts avoiding in this way complete chaos. Additional problems are represented by molecular wavefunctions provided by the modern high-level computational quantum chemistry methods. They involve, in principle, all the information on molecular system, but they are so immensely complex that can not be immediately understood in simple and physically meaningful terms. Both of these aspects, categorization and interpretation, call for conceptual models which should be preferably pictorial, transparent, intuitively appealing and well-founded, being sometimes useful for semi quantitative purposes.