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Theoretical/Computational: Alexei Kananenka, Tao E. Li, Edward Lyman, John Morgan, Marianna Safronova, Krzysztof Szalewicz, Barry Walker
Experimental: Matthew DeCamp, Lars Gundlach, Barry Walker
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Atomic, molecular and optical physics (AMO) studies matter and light–matter interactions at the scale of one to thousands of atoms and molecules. This is a vibrant field of physics/chemistry as documented by recent Nobel prizes for discoveries in the areas of quantum electronics, optical and laser spectroscopy, photochemistry, molecular reaction dynamics, ultrafast laser physics, quantum information science, precision measurements, and Bose-Einstein condensation. The applications of the research are far reaching and include the global positioning system, detection of gravity waves, and quantum computing. The research at the University of Delaware (UD) includes advancements of theory as well as of experimental and computational techniques in areas such as light and matter interactions under extreme conditions, development and applications of quantum sensors, searches for dark matter, searches for physics beyond the standard model with atomic systems, high-precision calculations on small atoms and molecules, theory of intermolecular interactions, quantum and classical molecular dynamics of molecular motions, electronic-structure theory of atoms and molecules including developments of novel density-functional methods applicable to very large molecules, and ultrafast spectroscopy. Results of this research were applied, for example, to develop the 2019 SI standard of temperature.
Another area of focus at UD is chemical and biological physics. The functions and structures of chemical soft condensed phase, macromolecules and biological systems originate from intermolecular interactions known as van der Waals interactions. These interactions do not involve forming chemical bonds between the interacting species, but govern the organization of molecules into complex matter. Theoretical research at UD includes investigations of such interactions in van der Waals clusters, liquids, molecular crystals, and biological membranes. Processes investigated experimentally include electron transfer reactions and charge carrier dynamics in nanomaterials. When applied to living systems, the research can address the peculiar material properties of the cell membranes and how the cell exploits these properties to perform the physical chemistry of life. The applications of this research include predictions of crystal structure of pharmaceutical drugs. Understanding the molecular underpinnings of function of biological systems such as cell membranes, ion channels, and intrinsically disordered proteins is another active research area at UD.
Our experimental laboratories will move into a new science building in Fall 2024.
Prof. Matthew DeCamp’s Research Group
Prof. Lars Gundlach’s Research Group
Prof. Alexei Kananenka’s Chemical Physics Group
Prof. Tao E. Li’s Research Group
Prof. Edward Lyman’s Molecular Biophysics Group
Prof. Marianna Safronova’s Research Group
Prof. Krzysztof Szalewicz’s Quantum Molecular Science Group
Prof. Barry Walker’s Laser Science Group