January 2017

Message from the Chair

As Chair of the Division of Chemical Physics, let me first offer my warmest greetings of the 2016 holiday season to all DCP members, as well as my best wishes for continued scientific joy, success and productivity in the upcoming 2017 year!

First of all, let me take the opportunity to congratulate the winners of Division of Chemical Physics awards through the American Physical Society, specifically Prof. Emily Carter (Princeton) for the 2017 Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics, Prof. Albert Stolow (University of Ottawa) for the 2017 Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics, Prof. Tilman Pfau (University of Stuttgart) for the Herbert H. Broida Prize, and Dr. Yuval Shagam (Weizmann Institute) for the 2017 Jankunas Thesis Award. Profs. Stolow and Carter and Dr. Shagam will have the opportunity to educate us on their many research accomplishments in a special prize session on Tuesday afternoon (3/14/2017) at the March 2017 APS meeting in New Orleans, which I’m sure will be most interesting. I hope you can all attend!

Secondly, I want to congratulate all the distinguished DCP scientists that have been invited to become members of the 2016 class of Fellows of the American Physical Society. The new APS Fellows this year are Eric R. Bittner (University of Houston), Vladimir Chernyak (Wayne State University), Frédéric Merkt (ETH – Zurich), David H. Parker (Radboud University Nijmegen), Mary T. Rodgers (Wayne State University), Charles A. Schmuttenmaer (Yale University), Xue-Bin Wang (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), and Jianzhong Wu (University of California, Riverside). This is a great honor and one of many advantages of being a member of the American Physical Society and the Division of Chemical Physics.

Thirdly, running the Chemical Physics Division is not something that one could possibly do alone — it truly "takes a village." Consequently, every year the Chair is asked to make suggestions for additions to an external nominating committee, who then comes up with a two-person slate of chemical physicists for each slot on the DCP Executive committee, and for which we all vote annually as DCP members. So I’d like to take the time to congratulate this past year’s winners of these elections: Vice Chair: Laura Gagliardi (University of Minnesota), Member-at-Large Stephen E. Bradforth (USC) and Councilor: Robert E. Continetti (UC San Diego), as well as to thank them in advance for their much appreciated service to the Division. I’d also like to thank David Chandler (Sandia National Lab, Past Chair), Amy Mullin (U. Maryland, Councilor), and Janice Reutt-Robey (U. Maryland, Member-at-Large) who have generously contributed their time and talents on the DCP executive committee and whose terms will be completed as of the March Meeting 2017.

Finally, as this will probably be my last newsletter to you as Chair, I want to thank all members of the Division of Chemical Physics for your continued support and help. I have had the great pleasure of meeting many of you at APS March meetings over the years, and I particularly want to thank those of you that pitched in to make the last March Meeting 2016 in Baltimore so successful. It has undoubtedly been hard work — but also a distinct honor and great fun — in helping the Division of Chemical Physics move forward and grow stronger. As one example, the Justin Jankunas Thesis Award was only initiated 2 years ago (thanks to the vigorous efforts of Secretary/Treasurer Robert J. Gordon and Past Chair David Chandler!) and has already become a very prestigious and highly sought after honor for young chemical physicists in the Division. By way of another example, the JCP Editors Choice session was a trial idea only last year (thanks to suggestions by Marsha Lester and support from Past Chair David Chandler!) and yet from its success and strong attendance at the March Meeting 2016 in Baltimore, looks to become an ongoing highlight of the DCP March meeting repertoire. I’d especially like to thank our Secretary-Treasurer Robert J. Gordon, who magically seems to be able to keep me and the rest of the executive committee on target, on time and (mostly!) under-budget.

As you know, Chair-Elect Tim Zwier from Purdue, who will take charge early in 2017, has done a fabulous job in putting together a very exciting program for the March meeting in New Orleans. With superb people like Tim Zwier, Scott Anderson, and now Laura Gagliardi in the executive committee progression, I know I leave the Division of Chemical Physics in excellent hands, both immediately and for many years into the future.

Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and peaceful holiday season,

David J. Nesbitt
Division of Chemical Physics

Election of DCP Officers

We are pleased to announce the election of Laura Gagliardi to the position of Vice Chair, Stephen E. Bradforth to the position of Member-at-Large, and Robert E. Continetti to the position of APS Councilor. We also wish to thank outgoing officers David Chandler (Past Chair), Janice Ruett-Robey (Member-at-Large), and Amy Mulin (Councilor) for their valuable service to the Division, as well as officers Tim Zwier, who will serve as Chair, Scott Anderson, who will serve as Chair-Elect, and Jeffrey Owrutsky and Heather Allen, who will continue to serve as Members-at-Large.

Winner and Finalists of the Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award

Yuval ShagamThe winner of the 2017 Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award in Chemical Physics is Dr. Yuval Shagam for his thesis entitled "Cold Chemistry with Cold Molecules," which he wrote under the direction of Prof. Ed Narevicius at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Dr. Shagam earned his B.Sc. in physics and computer science in 2010 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He subsequently moved to the Weizmann Institute of Science to earn his M.Sc. degree in physics. In 2011, Dr. Shagam joined the laboratory of Prof. Edvardas Narevicius, switching to the direct Ph.D. track in 2012. In his research Dr. Shagam focused on low temperature chemistry and physics with cold molecules. He used the merged molecular beam technique developed at Weizmann to measure quantum effects that dominate dynamics at low collision energies. Focusing on how the molecular quantum rotor affects reactions, Dr. Shagam found that the symmetries of the quantum molecular wavefunctions of different rotational states can change the nature of long-range forces as directly probed in universal Langevin reactions. Dr. Shagam also used rotational molecular state symmetry to directly quantify with near spectroscopic precision the angular dependence of atom/molecule interaction using quantum resonances, which can be turned on or off by choosing the molecule’s rotational state. Completing his Ph.D. in 2016, Dr. Shagam received the Israel Chemical Society Excellent Graduate Student Award for his work, as well as a Rothschild postdoctoral fellowship. In his next position, Dr. Shagam will join the groups of Eric Cornell and Jun Ye at JILA in the University of Colorado Boulder as a postdoctoral research associate, where he will measure the electron electric dipole moment using trapped molecular ions.

The two finalists for this award are Dr. Yang Yang, who graduated this summer from Duke University under the direction of Prof. Weitao Yang, with a thesis entitled "Ground and Electronic Excited States from Pairing Matrix Fluctuation and Particle-Particle Random Phase Approximation," and Dr. Patrick Walsh, who graduated from Prof. Timothy Zwier's group at Purdue University this summer with a thesis, "Single-Conformation Spectroscopy of Hydrogen Bonding Networks: Solvation, Synthetic Foldamers, and Neurodegenerative Diseases."

Drs. Shagam and Yang will present their work at the DCP Prize Prize Session, to be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2017, at 11:15 a.m. in Room 288.

2016 DCP Fellows of the American Physical Society

We are pleased to congratulate the following newly-elected APS Fellows, who will be recognized at the APS March Meeting 2017 in New Orleans.

  • Eric R. Bittner, University of Houston
  • Vladimir Chernyak, Wayne State University
  • Frédéric Merkt, ETH – Zurich
  • David H. Parker, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Mary T. Rodgers, Wayne State University
  • Charles A. Schmuttenmaer, Yale University
  • Xue-Bin Wang, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Jianzhong Wu, University of California, Riverside

Citations of their work may be found on the DCP Fellowship page.

Winners of the DCP New Investigator Travel Award

Congratulations to the following winners of travel awards to attend the APS March Meeting 2017:

  • Shaowei Li, University of California, Irvine
  • Rasmus Karlsson, Stanford
  • Pauf Neupane, Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Patrick Walsh, University of Pennsylvania

DCP Plyler, Langmuir, and Jankunas Prize Focus Session at the APS March Meeting 2017

The 2017 Earl K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy and Dynamics will be awarded to Albert Stolow at the DCP Prize Session. Prof. Stolow will give a talk in this session entitled "The Three Pillars of Ultrafast Molecular Science - Time, Phase, Intensity"

The 2017 Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics will be awarded to Emily Carter at the DCP Prize Session. Prof. Carter will give a talk in this session entitled "In the Footsteps of Irving Langmuir: Physical Chemistry in Service of Society"

In addition, Dr. Yuval Shagam, winner of the 2017Justin Jankunas Doctoral Dissertation Award, will give a 36 minute talk and finalist Patrick Walsh will give a 12 minute talk about their research.

Abstracts of these talks may be found at http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/MAR17/Session/P25

DCP-Sponsored Focus Sessions at the March Meeting 2017

The following focus sessions will be sponsored by DCP in the March Meeting 2017 in New Orleans. A more detailed description of the various sessions including a list of organizers and invited speakers may be found on the DCP web page.

Advances in Molecular Dynamics Simulation: From Atomistic to Coarse-grained Models; Sessions A25 (Mon AM), C25 (Mon PM), F26 (Tues Mid-day), and K25 (Wed. AM)

Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Multi-chromophore Systems; Sessions B25 (Mon Mid-day), E25 (Tues AM), F25 (Tues. Mid-day) and L25 (Wed. Mid-day)

Journal of Chemical Physics Editor's Choice: Focus Session H25 (Tues. PM)

Chemical physics at the edges: Probing materials at the limits of space, time, and resolution; Sessions S26 (Thurs Mid-day), V26 (Thurs PM), and X26 (Fri AM)

DCP Prize Session: Focus Session P25 (Wed PM)

Frontiers at interfaces: Probing the mechanisms of surface reactions and interfacial carrier dynamics; Sessions R25 (Thurs AM), S25 (Thurs Mid-day), V25 (Thurs PM), and X25 (Fri AM)

Chemical Physics of Hydrogen-bonded Networks: Structure and Dynamics, Sessions A26 (Mon AM), B26 (Mon Mid-day), E26 (Tues AM), K26 (Wed. AM)

DCP Business Meeting

The Division Meeting at the March Meeting 2017 will held on Tuesday, March 14 at 5:45 PM. All are welcome!

2017 APS Fellowship Nominations

We encourage the nomination of deserving candidates for APS Fellowship. Nominations for 2017 APS Fellowship to be considered by the DCP Fellowship Committee should be made before the April 1, 2017 deadline. Instructions for submitting a nomination are included on the APS Fellows web page.

2018 Plyler Nominations

We welcome nominations for the 2018 Earle K. Plyler Prize. Details of the prize and the nomination procedure may be found on the APS web site.

Upcoming Conferences of Possible Interest to DCP Membership

A list of conferences in 2017 in various areas of chemical physics may be found on the DCP web page.

Prepared by Robert Gordon, DCP Secretary/Treasurer

The articles in this newsletter represent the views of their author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Unit or APS.