November 2011

In this issue:

Message from the Chair

The APS March meeting 2012 will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, February 27 - March 2. I strongly encourage you to attend the meeting, to bring your students and postdocs along, and for all of you to submit abstracts to the DCP Focus Symposia. Don Truhlar, our Chair-Elect, has arranged a strong program of focus symposia that address the core areas and new directions of Chemical Physics. Typically, many other sessions and symposia at the March meeting are also of great interest and relevance to members of DCP, to a significantly greater extent than at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. So take the time to review this year's Focus Symposia descriptions and don't miss out!

I would like to emphasize the unique feature of APS meetings, that anyone who submits an abstract and indicates preference for a talk, will be given a speaking slot. So in addition to the many outstanding invited speakers, there are consequently typically also many students and postdocs giving talks at this meeting - it is an excellent opportunity for your graduate students to give their first talk or to hone their speaking skills in front of large audiences! Furthermore, there is financial support for graduate students to travel to the meeting (see below). Other student/postdoc events include a poster competition sponsored by DCP.

Scientifically, the future of DCP looks good, with recent years showing strong attendance at many of our Focus Symposia on a broad range of topics. APS and DCP is in an exciting place for Chemical Physics these days, with many key areas showing a high profile and strong synergy with other Divisions of APS. The atmosphere at American Physical Society meetings is open and friendly, within and between Divisions, and the tradition of encouraging student presentations remains a vibrant feature of the March meeting. While the core membership of DCP is strong and of high quality, there are nevertheless many students and more senior scientists in the chemical physics community who are either not active members of the Division or who do not even belong to APS. Thus I am asking you, as active members of DCP, to pass the word on to your colleagues, junior and senior alike, to encourage them to become active members of APS and of DCP in particular. Most importantly, I would like to ask you to tell your students, who are the future of the field. Note that the first year of student membership in APS is free!

I look forward to seeing you in Boston next February!

Birgitta Whaley
Chair, DCP

APS DCP Poster Competition!

The Division of Chemical Physics will sponsor a "Best Poster Competition" at the 2012 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 March Meeting Deadlines

APS March Meeting Information

Abstract Submission Deadline: 11 Nov 2011

Early Registration Deadline (lowest fees): 6 Jan 2012

Housing: 12 Jan 2012

Late Registration Deadline (higher fees): 27 Jan 2012

APS DCP March Meeting Dependent Child Care Award: 17 Feb 2012

APS DCP March Meeting Graduate Travel Fellowships: 18 Nov 2011

APS DCP Fellowship Deadline: 1 Feb 2012

APS March Meeting DCP Focus Sessions

05.1.1 Chemical Physics for New Energy

The rising worldwide demand for energy and the need for energy sources that reduce CO2 emissions require new approaches to energy technologies. These new approaches will include new energy sources (e.g., solar energy, advanced nuclear energy, fusion energy, and alternative feedstocks for fuels), more efficient ways to use energy (e.g., fuel cells and solid state lighting), and improved efficiency in energy storage (e.g., electrical and chemical energy storage). There are many common underlying scientific questions that need to be addressed to advance new energy technologies, such as:

  • How can light fields be manipulated to promote desired conversions?
  • How can light absorption be controlled to produce energy carriers and intermediates efficiently and selectively?
  • What controls the ability of materials to store, transfer, and transport charged species such as electrons, holes and ions?
  • How can energy be directed to control chemical transformations such as with catalysts?
  • How do charge transfer and chemical transformation couple in photoelectrochemical generation and electrochemical storage of energy?
  • What properties of materials determine their behavior under extreme conditions (high temperatures, pressures, and flux of high energy particles)?
  • What is the role of condensed phase liquids, particularly aqueous liquids, in energy applications?

Chemical physics tools and approaches, which rely on model system studies of physical/chemical phenomena from the perspective of atomic/molecular and condensed matter physics, offer opportunities to develop a fundamental understanding of many of the scientific issues and answer key scientific questions important for advancing new energy technologies.

This symposium will highlight research advances that are essential to answer fundamental science questions underlying new energy technologies.

Bruce C. Garrett
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Anders Nilsson
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Confirmed invited speakers:

Charles Campbell, University of Washington
Emily Carter, Princeton
Russell Hemley, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Gregory Kimmel, Pacific Northwest National Labs
Nenad Markovic, Argonne National Labs
Horia Metiu, UCSB
Jens Norskov, Stanford
Richard Osgood, Columbia
Mark Ratner, Northwestern
Eric Rohlfing, DOE
Kevin Rosso, Pacific Northwest National Labs
George Schatz, Northwestern
Greg Voth, University of Chicago
Peidong Yang, University of California, Berkeley

05.1.2 Density Functional Theory for Chemical Physics

Density Functional Theory, in both its ground-state and time-dependent (TD) flavors, is an exact reformulation of the non-relativistic quantum mechanics of many-body systems. Used in more than 10,000 papers per year, DFT provides an unprecedented balance of accuracy and efficiency for electronic structure calculations in molecules, clusters, and solids. DFT is often the only computationally feasible, quantum mechanical approach to some of the most interesting and topical problems in chemical physics today: from stacking interactions in DNA, to the design of solar cell candidates, to photodynamics and molecular transport.

There are however many problems for which DFT performs notoriously poorly. Several open questions that will be addressed are:

  • Orbital-free DFT: A dream or a reliable reality?
  • Weak molecular interactions: how reliable and universal are the functionals for hydrogen bonds? for van der Waal’s?
  • Strongly-correlated systems: Can we dissociate H2 and H2+ correctly?
  • Energy applications: What are the realistic prospects for accurate modeling of energy applications? What are the most crucial aspects of the approximate functionals for this purpose?
  • Excitons: Can they be described in TDDFT?
  • Potential-energy surfaces: How can we make potential energy surfaces globally accurate enough to be used confidently for phenomena such as photo-induced dynamics in biomolecules?
  • Beyond Born-Oppenheimer: How should we correctly account for ionic motion coupled to electron dynamics?
  • Strong-field physics: How useful is time-dependent DFT for attosecond control, multiple-ionization, charge-resonance enhanced ionization…?

This symposium will highlight recent advances in both theory development and applications.

Kieron Burke
University of California, Irvine

Neepa T. Maitra
Hunter Coll., City University of New York

Confirmed invited speakers:

Valentino Cooper, Oak Ridge National Labs
Hardy Gross, Max-Planck-Institut für Mikrostrukturphysik
Erin Johnson, University of California, Merced
Miguel Marques, Universite Lyon and CNRS
Tom Miller, Caltech
John Perdew, Tulane
Angel Rubio, University of the Basque Country
Charles Stafford, University of Arizona
Carsten Ullrich, University of Missouri
Troy van Voorhis, MIT
Adam Wasserman, Purdue
Weitao Yang, Duke
Donald Truhlar, University of Minnesota
Miles Stoudenmire, University of California, Irvine

05.1.3 Chemical Physics of the Environment

Chemical physics processes play important roles in many environmentally relevant processes including the sequestration, migration, transformation and removal of contaminants in soil, the atmosphere and ground water; water purification; green manufacturing; the migration and transformation of nanoparticles in the environment. For example, the chemical physics of transition metal oxides (and other oxides and minerals) impact contaminant migration in ground water, contaminant sequestration (including carbon storage), and the catalytic and photo-catalytic reduction of atmospheric contaminants. The production, transformation and radiation impacts of atmospheric aerosols (often involving many reactive chemicals) have important impacts on pollution and atmospheric radiation. Processes in fluids including water and scCO2 are also of wide importance. Focus topic sessions will include:

  • Transition metal and other oxides - The chemical physics of transmission metal oxides and other oxides and minerals with relevance to contaminant oxidation/reduction and transport, emission sequestration (including CO2), and other environmentally important processes such as nucleation and growth, dissolution, catalysis and photocatalysis.
  • Green processes - Chemical physics relevant to environmentally friendly processes (green processing, green solvents, catalysis for contaminant removal etc.)
  • Atmospheric Aerosols - Understanding formation, transformation, and transport processes of atmospheric aerosols and their implications for radiation balance and other important environmental processes.
  • Nanoparticles in the environment – Chemical physical processes related to transformations, migration and physicochemical properties of nanoparticles in the environment.
  • Water (and other fluids) – Chemical physics of water which impacts contaminant transport, water purification, transport and reactions in nano-pores, multi-phase fluid flow, and a variety of processes relevant to clouds and aerosols.
  • Sensors – Chemical physics of detection processes important for the development of highly sensitive environmental sensors

An objective of this symposium is to examine the current understanding (and limitations) of environmentally relevant processes and to point towards areas where additional theoretical and/or experimental advances and tools can enable scientific advances. Many environmental reactions couple processes across materials phase or size and presentations that deal with these added complexities are particularly encouraged.

Donald Baer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

J. Ilja Siepmann
University of Minnesota

Confirmed invited speakers:

William Schneider, Notre Dame
David Shuh, LBNL
Edward Maginn, Notre Dame
James Hutchinson, University of Oregon
Hanna Vehkamaki, University of Helsinki
Vicki Grassian, University of Iowa
Michael Hochella, Virginia Tech
John Weare, UCSD
Heather Allen, Ohio St.
Dermot Diamond, Dublin City University
Omowunmi Sadik, SUNY Binghamton

05.1.4 Impact of Ultrafast Lasers in Chemical Physics: Advances in Nonlinear Spectroscopies, Light Sources and Applications

Ultrafast laser methods have led to an extraordinary number of new insights about molecules and materials through spectroscopic and dynamic characterizations. In part, these advances have occurred because the experimentally accessible time scales match those used in computational approaches. At the same time, advances in the theoretical framework describing and predicting new optical phenomena have encouraged forays into novel experiments. Fundamental to these successes are the efforts to produce light sources with high power and high stability at femtosecond and shorter time scales. Moreover, these light sources have encouraged the development of new optical technologies capable of producing ultrashort light pulses over a wide wavelength range from THz to hard X-rays, enabling a multitude of nonlinear and multidimensional spectroscopic techniques. This symposium will bring investigators attentive to development, application and theory of ultrashort laser spectroscopy together into a single symposium. Presentations will address issues such as:

  • How has the development of new light sources facilitated new explorations in chemical physics?
  • How do theoretical predictions in chemical physics lead to new experimental results?
  • How does the demand for new spectroscopies drive the development of new ultrashort pulsed light sources tunable from the UV to IR?
  • What new applications have grown out of the interaction of new light sources and new spectroscopies?
  • What new short pulsed light sources exist and how can they be harnessed to increase our understanding of basic chemical physics phenomena?
  • How can we manipulate light to attain new spectroscopic and dynamic techniques?
  • How have researchers developed new spectroscopic techniques or extended existing techniques into different spectroscopic regimes?
  • What is the future of multidimensional spectroscopies?
  • Can we harness light to control physical and chemical processes?

This symposium will showcase new laser technologies, their applications and assorted theoretical framework highlighting revolutionary measurements of fundamental processes important in physics, chemistry, biology, materials science and beyond.

Amber Krummel
Colorado State University

Nancy Levinger
Colorado State University

Confirmed invited speakers:

Amy Mullin, University of Maryland
Thomas Elsaesser, Max-Born-Institut Berlin
Greg Engel, University of Chicago
Kelly Gaffney, Stanford
Shaul Mukamel, UC Irvine
Margaret Murnane, University of Colorado, Boulder
Keith Nelson, MIT
Jennifer Ogilvie, University of Michigan
Gregory Scholes, University of Toronto
Martin Zanni, University of Wisconsin, Madison

05.1.5 Chemical Physics of Clusters, Nanoparticles and Nanoscale Materials

New and surprising behaviors emerge when matter is divided into nanometer or sub-nanometer length scales. The finite size coupled with the large number of surface atoms, reduced coordination and low dimensionality render nano-structured materials properties that are different from the bulk. The stability, band gaps, and reactivity are all found to change with size, composition and the charged state, and clusters of non-magnetic solids can be magnetic. Most appealing are systems that display interesting behaviors, whose composition can be selectively chosen, and whose individual characteristics might be retained when assembled into an extended material. In this context, one promising concept is the possibility that nanoscale materials of desired properties can be formed via the technique of assembling clusters that have been designed to have specific properties, whereby the clusters serve as individual molecular building blocks. The session will highlight novel electronic, magnetic and chemical behaviors associated with clusters and nanostructures and how novel nano-materials with tunable characteristics may be synthesized by assembling size selected clusters/nanoparticles as building blocks.

Theoretical and experimental contributions will address the following areas:

  • Synthesis and characterization of clusters and nanoparticles.
  • Structure, stability and the electronic behavior of clusters and nanoparticles.
  • Evolution of magnetic behavior with size and the magnetic behavior of molecular nanomagnets.
  • Electronic Transport in molecular systems.
  • Catalytic behavior and the developments of nano-catalysts.
  • Assemblies of Clusters/nanoparticles.

Shiv Khanna
Virginia Commonwealth University

Gabor Somorjai
University of California, Berkeley

Confirmed invited speakers:

Richard Van Duyne, Northwestern
Mark Pederson, DOE
Everett Carpenter, Virginia Commonwealth University
Paul Alivisatos, University of California, Berkeley
Francisco Zaera, University of California, Riverside
Charles Lieber, Harvard
Scott Anderson, University of Utah
A. Welford Castleman, Penn St.
Donald Tomalia, Central Michigan University

05.1.6 Earle K. Plyler Prize Session

Birgitta Whaley (Chair), University of California, Berkeley

Confirmed invited speakers:

Andrei Tokmakoff (Award Winner), MIT
Jim Skinner, University of Wisconsin, Madison
David Jonas, University of Colorado, Boulder

More information about the DCP Focus Symposia.

Congratulations to APS Prize Winners

The Division of Chemical Physics extends its congratulations to all the 2012 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 and sponsored by The Journal of Chemical Physics. We congratulate Andrei Tokmakoff as the winner of the 2012 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.

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.

More information about winners of APS prizes and awards in 2012 is available on the web.

Fellowship Committee and Nominations

The DCP extends its thanks to the 2011 DCP Fellowship Committee, Carl Lineberger (Chair), Bill Reinhardt and Al Wagner.

We encourage the nomination for fellowship of deserving candidates. Nominations for 2012 APS Fellowship to be considered by the DCP Fellowship Committee should be made before the deadline, which will be the beginning of February 2012. 

Instructions for submitting a nomination for consideration next year are included on the APS web site.

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 2012-13 Officers

The DCP extends its thanks to the 2011 DCP Nominating Committee, Joel Bowman (chair), Ali Belkacem and Laurie Butler.

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

Upcoming Conferences of possible interest to DCP Membership

Spring 2012 ACS Meeting - Symposium on Computational Chemistry for Geochemistry

June 2012 Symposium on Interfacing Electronic Structure with Dynamics

21st IUPAC International Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry (ICPOC21)
Durham (UK), 9 - 13 September 2012