Physical chemists interpret chemical phenomena at the molecular level in terms of quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and kinetics.
The division provides a competitive research program and curriculum, with areas of focus:
- Computational chemistry
- Gas-phase kinetics and molecular dynamics.
Physical chemistry division faculty:
- Dr. Andrés Cisneros: Computational/Theoretical chemistry; development and application of computational simulation methods to investigate a variety of chemical and biochemical systems including DNA repair enzymes and their relation to cancer, ionic liquids, and inorganic complexes.
- Dr. Paul Marshall: Fundamental details of bond formation and chemical kinetics are investigated using time-resolved laser spectroscopy and high-level ab initio computational chemistry. The results are combined to improve our understanding of atmospheric and combustion chemistry, and the properties of short-lived radicals and other transient species.
- Dr. Hao Yan: Dr. Yan's group seeks novel physical approaches to address fundamental questions in chemistry and materials science. We are particularly interested in elucidating structure-property relationships under extreme mechanical environments such as high hydrostatic pressure (HHP), and applying such knowledge to the design of functional systems with broad-range impacts in catalysis, energy conversion and quantum information science.