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:
- High-resolution microwave spectroscopy
- Computational chemistry
- Gas-phase kinetics and molecular dynamics.
Physical chemistry division faculty:
- 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.
- 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.
- Martin Schwartz: Molecular Dynamics simulations of polymer composites (in collaboration with the U. S. Air Force), and Quantum Mechanical modeling of bonding and thermochemistry (enthalpies of formation, bond dissociation enthalpies and pi bond energies) in substituted alkenes and silenes.
- Samuel Tenney: Heterogeneous catalysis and surface science applied to energy related materials; scientific instrumentation; conversion of biomass derived products to high-value chemical commodities.