November 2010

In this Issue

Message from the Chair

The 2011 March Meeting of the APS will be held in Dallas, TX, and I urge you all to participate. Birgitta Whaley, the Chair-elect, has put together a very exciting set of Focus Sessions, detailed below, and time is running out for you to submit abstracts for these and for the regular sessions sponsored by the Division of Chemical Physics. The November 19 deadline is fast approaching! Bear in mind that all members of APS are entitled to present a paper or poster at the National Meeting, and the short-talk format is a wonderful way for young people to get their scientific feet wet on the national scene. DCP will sponsor a poster competition for graduate students and postdocs, and DCP graduate students are invited to participate in Graduate Student Lunch with the Experts at the meeting. There are always many other symposia and focus sessions of interest to DCP members at the March meeting, so I encourage you to attend.

Chemical Physics is a vibrant discipline, with unique features that make it imperative we recognize and promote its special role at the interface between chemistry and physics. DCP in particular celebrates the connections between theory and experiment, between gas phase and condensed phase, and between physics, chemistry, and biology, in ways that ACS cannot so readily manage. It is vital to our field that we preserve this opportunity for our work to connect to others, to society, and to our sponsoring agencies. I encourage you to advocate DCP membership to your students and colleagues. Membership in APS and DCP is free for the first year to students. It is remarkable how few members are aware of this fabulous deal! Please help spread the word.

Finally, I would like to say a few words of thanks to those who have labored on our behalf: Rick Heller, who has just stepped down as Chair, has provided a wonderful example of how to lead this effort with grace and aplomb; Andrew Rappe, our former Secretary/Treasurer, kept the wheels turning, the accounts in order, and faithfully preserved our institutional memory; and the members of the Executive Committee have all actively participated in many key Division activities. I also welcome Birgitta Whaley and Don Truhlar as Chair-elect and Vice-Chair, respectively, as well as David Leitner, our new Secretary/Treasurer, who has already done a great deal to make the system run smoothly. If you have any thoughts or suggestions for DCP and its programs, please let us know.

I look forward to seeing you in Dallas!

Arthur Suits, Chair, DCP

APS DCP Poster Competition!

The Division of Chemical Physics will sponsor a "Best Poster Competition" at the 2011 APS March Meeting. Prizes of up to $400 will be awarded to posters that report novel science in a compelling way. Please encourage your students and postdocs to join DCP, attend APS, and present a poster!

Please note: only students and postdocs who are members of the APS and DCP, with advisors who are also members of the APS and DCP are eligible.

APS Graduate Student Lunch with the Experts!

Graduate students are invited to attend Graduate Student Lunch with the Experts at the APS March Meeting. DCP is sponsoring the lunch for DCP member students. Graduate Student Lunch with the Experts will take place on Wednesday, March 23 from noon to 1:30 PM at the Dallas Convention Center.

APS DCP Reception

The Division of Chemical Physics will co-host a reception for ALL DCP members during the 2011 APS March Meeting. We will have good food and drink, and it'll be a great chance to meet and mingle with other DCP members. The date, time and location will be announced soon, but do plan to attend! See you there!

APS March Meeting Deadlines

APS March Meeting Information

Abstract Submission Deadline: 19 Nov 2010

Early Registration Deadline (lowest fees): 14 Jan 2011

Satellite Meeting Requests: 28 Feb 2011

Housing: 18 Feb 2011

Late Registration Deadline (higher fees): 18 Feb 2011

APS March Meeting Child Care Grant: 17 Jan 2011

APS DCP March Meeting Dependent Child Care Award: 17 Feb 2011

APS DCP March Meeting Graduate Travel Fellowships: 24 Nov 2010

APS DCP Fellowship Deadline: 1 Feb 2011

APS March Meeting DCP Focus Sessions

11.7.1 The Physics of Evolution

Recent progress in genomics and systems biology has provided a wealth of data on molecular biophysical properties of proteins, e.g., their stability, interactions with other proteins, functions and abundance in living cells. However, past attempts to place the data obtained in genomics and proteomics projects firmly in a biological context have been only partially successful. Indeed Darwinian evolutionary theory – population genetics - still operates with mostly phenomenological concepts of beneficial, neutral and deleterious mutations, without apparent connection to the actual physical changes in protein sequences and structures that bring about these effects. Recently, significant theoretical and experimental efforts have been undertaken to bridge this gap by building multi-scale evolutionary models where genotypes of model or real organisms are directly coupled to physical properties of their biomacromolecules, i.e., proteins, RNA and DNA. This focus symposium will review these exciting developments and outline future directions that bridge microscopic and macroscopic (organismal) length scales in physical biology.

Eugene Shakhnovich, Harvard University

Confirmed invited speakers:

Eugene Koonin, NIH
Claus Wilke, University of Texas at Austin
Tanja Kortemme, UCSF
Eric Siggia, Rockefeller University
Eugene Shakhnovich, Harvard University
Shimon Bershtein, Harvard University

11.7.2 Non-Equilibrium Insights into Single Molecules and Cell Function

This focus symposium will explore new non-equilibrium approaches to understanding and controlling complex phenomena in biological systems. The symposium is intended to juxtapose problems and methods from single molecule and single cell investigations as well as experimental and theoretical perspectives that can elucidate similarities and perhaps convergence of insights.  An operational goal of the symposium is to examine development and application of non-equilibrium theoretical concepts that can allow obtaining the equilibrium free energy information and pathways which have been employed in single molecule (primarily mechanical) to problems in cell biology and cellular function.  A number of key open issues will be addressed.  Some processes (e.g. cell division and cell cycle) are so non-equilibrium in their nature that Boltzmann-type statistical approaches simply fail to give any insights.  So then how does one obtain a statistical mechanical understanding? Are such far from equilibrium behaviors more or less conducive to being controlled? Are there optimal ways to understand the nonlinear dynamics descriptions of oscillators in statistical mechanics? Can one conceive of design rules for nano-bio-machines? Are there "best systems" with which to explore these questions?

Norbert Scherer, University of Chicago
Aaron Dinner, University of Chicago

Confirmed invited speakers:

Haw Yang, Princeton University
Robert Phillips, California Institute of Technology
Dimitri Makarov, University of Texas at Austin
Joshua Socolar, Duke University
Gavin Crooks, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
John Wikswo, Vanderbilt University
Jan Liphardt, University of California, Berkeley

11.7.3 Quantum Coherence in Biology

Can biological systems utilize quantum mechanics to aid their function or attain an advantage in a competitive environment? Contributions to this focus symposium will cover fundamental physics, experiment as well as theory, that examines manifestly quantum-mechanical phenomena in biological systems. Key topics will include reports of experiments that yield evidence for quantum-coherent dynamics in biological systems, studies of decoherence in biological environments, and theoretical studies analyzing biological systems with tools of chemical physics and quantum information. The symposium will focus on coherence in biological settings, such as photosynthetic light-harvesting and long-range energy transfer, on excitonic phenomena in biology, and on biological sensing processes with potentially non-trivial quantum-mechanical features, such as magneto-reception and olfaction.

Gregory D. Scholes, University of Toronto
Mohan Sarovar, University of California, Berkeley

Confirmed invited speakers:

Jennifer Brookes, University College London
Alan Aspuru-Guzik, Harvard University
Alexandra Olaya-Castro, University College London
Daniel Turner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thorsten Ritz, University of California, Irvine
Joseph L. Kirschvink, California Institute of Technology
Spiros Skourtis, University of Cyprus
Nigel Scrutton, University of Manchester

11.7.5 Fundamental Issues in Interfacial Charge Transport for Energy Applications

New materials designed for efficient solar energy conversion and storage have attracted a great deal of attention in the Physics and Chemistry communities.  Photoconversion mechanisms based on interfacial charge transport triggered upon light absorption are investigated by both experimental and theoretical methods from the point of view of fundamental science and in the quest of principles to guide the design of efficient photovoltaic and photocatalytic systems.  This focus symposium aims to survey recent advances in studies of fundamental aspects of electronic processes and reaction mechanisms for solar energy harvesting and conversion into electricity and fuels.  The program is intended to bring together a diverse community to foster the cross-fertilization of complementary approaches in the development of physical principles and characterization of molecular systems for efficient and cost effective solar energy conversion.

Lin X. Chen, Argonne National Laboratory & Northwestern University
Victor S. Batista, Yale University

Confirmed invited speakers:

Pershant Kamat, Radiation Laboratory, Notre Dame
Tim Lian, Emory University
Sebastian Loth, IBM Research
Xiaoyang Zhu, University of Texas at Austin
Hrvoje Petek, University of Pittsburgh
Paul Fenter, Argonne National Laboratory
Victor Batista, Yale University

11.7.6 The Role of Water in Energy Production and Utilization

Water, aqueous solutions and their interfaces with various materials play a key role in a number of areas related to current and future energy production and utilization. Examples include the catalytic conversion of biomass into fuels in aqueous solutions, photocatalytic water splitting to produce hydrogen, nuclear power production and waste disposal, and polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Often, the structure, dynamics and reactions of water at and near a solid interface or at the interface with solutes plays a crucial role. However, in almost all cases a detailed understanding of these properties is lacking, particularly for the conditions of interest. This focus symposium will focus on fundamental aspects of water, aqueous solutions and their interfaces. Experimental and theoretical contributions investigating the properties of aqueous systems in “real world” conditions, as well as “model system” studies are solicited.

Greg Kimmel, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Angelos Michaelides, University College, London

Confirmed invited speakers:

Peter Feibelman, Sandia National Laboratory
Valeria Molinero, University of Utah
Peter Rossky, University of Texas at Austin
Andrew Hodgson, University of Liverpool
Francesco Mallamace, Università di Messina
Konrad Thuermer, Sandia National Laboratories
Phillip Geissler, University of California, Berkeley

11.7.7 Electronic Structure and Applications to Energy Conversion

Advances in the realm of energy related research rely upon the use of electronic materials that are currently limited by a lack of understanding of several fundamental processes that occur following photoexcitation.  Theoretical modeling provides an understanding of the material’s behavior, and the acquired knowledge will allow for a better analysis and interpretation of experimental data, and facilitate rational design of new structures with desired optical, light harvesting, energy and charge transfer properties, guiding experimental efforts.  This focus symposium will address the developments and applications of emerging quantum chemistry and computational physics methodologies for study of a variety of energy related dynamical processes. These include generation of electronic excitations that are constrained by the confined nanoscale geometries, energy transfer and light-harvesting processes influenced by the spatial evolution of excitations, transformation of photoexcitation energy into electrical energy via charge separation (e.g., charge injection at interfaces), and the role of size and dimensionality in controlling the interplay between electronic excitation and structural response.

Sergei Tretiak, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Troy Van Voorhis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Confirmed invited speakers:

Oleg Prezhdo, University of Rochester
Annabella Selloni, Princeton University
Eric Bittner, University of Houston
Jeffrey Grossman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
David Beljonne, University of Mons Hainaut
Vladimir Chernyak, Wayne State University
Cherri Hsu, Academica Sinica

11.7.8 Ultrafast Dynamics and Imaging

This focus symposium will focus on ultrafast dynamics and imaging in chemical physics. Fundamental electronic and nuclear dynamics in molecules take place on attosecond to picosecond time scales. Ultrafast processes are instrumental to ensure that functions can be performed in the competition with vibrational cooling and decoherence. Advances in ultrafast imaging and spectroscopy tools such as x-ray scattering, electron scattering, angular resolved photoelectron spectroscopy and nonlinear laser spectroscopy have initiated a shift in paradigms. The traditional "from structure to function" approach is complemented by the direct determination of function on its natural (ultrafast) timescale with atomic spatial resolution. The symposium aims to provide a forefront view of the progress in the field covering a variety of techniques from laboratory-based pump-probe measurements to large-scale experiments using the world's first soft (FLASH) and hard (LCLS) x-ray lasers.

Marcus Guehr, Stanford University
Oliver Gessner, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Confirmed invited speakers:

Joachim Burgdörfer, Technical University Vienna
Nils Huse, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
André Staudte, National Research Council of Canada
Dwanye Miller, University of Toronto
Christoph Bostedt, LCLS, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Nikolaus Ernsting, Humboldt University Berlin

11.2-01 Earle K. Plyler Prize Session

Birgitta Whaley (Chair), University of California, Berkeley

Confirmed invited speakers:

Shaul Mukamel (Award Winner), University of California, Irvine
Sunney Xie, Harvard University
Graham Fleming, University of California, Berkeley

11.7.8-02 Langmuir Prize Session

Oliver Gessner (Chair), Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Confirmed invited speakers:

Steve Leone (Award Winner), University of California, Berkeley
Thomas Pfeifer, Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
Chris Greene, Department of Physics and JILA, University of Colorado

11.5-01 Leroy Apker Prize Session

Birgitta Whaley (Chair), University of California, Berkeley

Confirmed invited speakers:

Chia Wie Hsu (Award Winner), Harvard University

Congratulations to APS Prize Winners

The Division of Chemical Physics extends its congratulations to all the 2011 APS Prize Award, Medal, Lectureship, and Dissertation Award winners.

The three awards administered by the DCP are the Broida, Plyler and Langmuir Prizes.

The Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy is administered by the DCP. We are grateful to The Journal of Chemical Physics and AIP for taking on sponsorship of the Plyler Prize this year. We congratulate Shaul Mukamel as the winner of the 2011 Plyler Prize.

The Herbert P. Broida Prize is administered by the DCP and DAMOP and funded by generous contributions from the friends and colleagues of Herbert P. Broida. It is awarded by the APS in odd-numbered years and the 2011 award is given out by DAMOP. We congratulate Warren Warren as the 2011 winner.

The Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics is administered by the DCP and funded by generous contributions from the GE Fund and GE R&D. It is awarded by the APS in odd-numbered years and by the American Chemical Society in even-numbered years. It is our pleasure to congratulate Stephen Leone as the 2011 winner.

More information about winners of APS prizes and awards in 2011

Fellowship Committee and Nominations

The DCP extends its thanks to the 2010 DCP Fellowship Committee, Fleming Crim (chair), Carl Lineberger and Bill Reinhardt.

We encourage the nomination for fellowship of deserving candidates. Nominations for 2011 APS Fellowship to be considered by the DCP Fellowship Committee should be made before the deadline, which will be the beginning of February 2011. Instructions for submitting a nomination for consideration next year are included on the APS web site.

More information

DCP Membership

Membership in the American Physical Society's Division of Chemical Physics allows you to directly support a primary forum for chemical physics research. The status and influence of the DCP within the APS is dependent on the number of DCP members. Increasing DCP membership is crucial to preserving this important professional asset. If you are not a DCP member, we encourage you to join on the web or by phone (301-209-3280). Remember, students get their first year of DCP membership for free.

DCP Elections for 2011-12 Officers

The DCP extends its thanks to the 2010 DCP Nominating Committee, Mike Duncan (chair), Joel Bowman, and Veronica Vaida.

The election for DCP officers will begin soon. Watch for an email with instructions on how to vote. Please vote!