2016- Patrick Vaccaro at Science on Saturdays

On November 12th, Patrick Vaccaro will present “Light and Molecules: Illuminating Chemical Phenomena with Lasers.”  Lasers are the flashlight of chemistry. This Saturday Prof. Patrick Vaccaro will tell us how his group uses light and lasers to bend, rotate, and push molecules around in the lab, and even distinguish molecules that are mirror images of each other.

Time: Demonstrations by Synapse of Yale Scientific Magazine from 10am - 11am; Talk from 11am - noon. 

Location: Sterling Chemistry Laboratory, 225 Prospect Street
Directions & Parking: Sterling Chemistry Lab is the building on the left of the driveway at 225 Prospect. Proceed into the main entrance and up the main staircase. Parking will be available on the street along Prospect, at the Yale Whale Ice Rink, and in Lot 16 at the corner of Whitney & Humphrey.

About Patrick Vaccaro: Member of Yale faculty since 1990, Vaccaro’s research explores the provenance of molecular behavior, with special emphasis placed on the unique features that give rise to physical properties and chemical propensities. Ongoing experiments exploit diverse forms of optical spectroscopy to interrogate the ground-/excited-state potential energy surfaces of tractable species, thereby elucidating the coupling among electronic and nuclear degrees of freedom that mediates their structure and dynamics. When combined with detailed computational and theoretical analyses, such measurements afford a trenchant glimpse of phenomena that permeate the entire fabric of chemistry and impact upon related disciplines, including proton transfer, hydrogen bonding, non-adiabatic interactions, reaction dynamics, and chirality. Successful execution of these studies necessitates both technical innovations and conceptual advancements, with many of the linear/nonlinear spectroscopic methods used in Vaccaro’s work (e.g., polarization-resolved resonant four-wave mixing and cavity ring-down polarimetry) first developed and implemented in Yale laboratories.