American Chemical Society
Division of Physical Chemistry (PHYS)

Spring 1999 Newsletter

Chair (8/98-99) Geraldine Richmond
Department of Chemistry, University of Oregon
210 Willamette Hall
Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 346-4635
fax (541) 346-5859
Vice-Chair (8/98-99) Daniel Neumark
University of California, Department of Chemistry
237 Hildebrand
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 642-3502
fax (510) 642-6262
Secretary-Treasurer (8/96-01) Mark Gordon
Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University
201 Spedding Hall
Ames, IA 50011
(515) 294-0452, fax (515) 294-5204
Chair-Elect (8/98-99) George Schatz
Department of Chemistry Northwestern University
2145 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208-3113
(847) 491-5657
fax (847) 491-7713
Vice-Chair-Elect (8/98-99) Richard M. Stratt
Department of Chemistry
Brown University
324 Brooke Street
Providence, RI 02912
(401) 863-3418
fax (401) 863-2594
Past Chair (8/98-99) Ellen B. Stechel
Ford Motor Company
PO Box 2053, MD 3028/SRL
Dearborn, MI 48121-2053
(313) 248-5635
fax (313) 322-7044
Julia E. Rice (98-2001) IBM
John Simon (96-99) Univ. of California, SD
Anthony Dean (97-2000) Exxon
David W. Chandler (98-2001) Sandia National Lab
Paul Houston (96-99) Cornell University
Anne M. Chaka (97-2000) The Lubrizol Corp.
Alvin L. Kwiram (97-99) Univ. of Washington
Edward M. (Ted) Eyring (97-99) Univ. of Utah
Michael Bowers (99-2001) Univ. of California, SB
Thom H. Dunning, Jr. (98-2000) PNNL
Joseph M. Jasinski (99-2001) IBM Research
Ron Levy (97-99) Rutgers University
Gregory Voth (97-99) University of Utah
A. Welford Castleman, Jr. (98-2000) Penn. State 
Chair (8/98-99) Robin M. Hochstrasser
Dept. of Chemistry, Univ. of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323 (215) 898-8410
Vice-Chair (8/98-99) William A. Eaton
Lab of Chem. Physics, NIDDK, NIH
Bethesda, MD 20892-0520 (301) 496-6030
Chair-Elect (8/98-99) Eric Oldfield
Department of Chemistry, Univ. of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 333-3374
Secretary (8/94-99) Gerald T. Babcock
Dept. of Chemistry, Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824 (517) 355-9715 x257
Chair (8/98-99) Richard M. Stratt
Department of Chemistry, Brown University
Providence, RI 02912 (401) 863-3418
Vice-Chair (8/98-99) Susan C. Tucker
Dept. of Chemistry, Univ. of California-Davis
Davis, CA 95616 (530) 752-2203
Chair-Elect (8/98-99) Kenneth D. Jordan
Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (412) 624-8690
Secretary (8/95-99) Michael Page
Department of Chemistry, North Dakota State Univ. Fargo, ND 58105 (701) 231-8291

Remarks by the Physical Division Chair for the Anaheim, ACS National Meeting, March 1999

Geraldine Richmond

As I move into my role as Chair of the Division of Physical Chemistry I would like to share some of my thoughts with you about the Division. I am indeed honored to assume this position, following in the footsteps of a number of very dedicated individuals who have made major contributions to the vitality of the Division. In particular, I am indebted to Ellen Stechel for her work and guidance as Chair of the Division in 1998, George Flynn who preceded her and Mark Gordon, Secretary-Treasurer. The Division of Physical Chemistry is comprised of members who span a broad range of interests in the general area of physical chemistry. This breadth is reflected in the range of symposia topics sponsored in recent years by the Division which includes polymeric materials and thin films, combustion processes, structure and reactivity in supercritical fluids, complex metal oxide surfaces, large scale electronic structure methods, high resolution spectroscopy, nanoscale materials, electron transfer, ultra fast protein responses, water at surfaces and education in physical chemistry. It is invigorating to attend many of these symposia and see what an important role the discipline of physical chemistry plays in so many existing and emerging fields of science today. It is the depth of knowledge and the breadth of application of this knowledge that makes and will continue to keep physical chemistry as a central discipline in the physical sciences. It is currently training some of the best and brightest minds in the field of chemistry and we welcome their participation in the Division, and their future contributions to the scientific discipline.

I encourage all to attend and participate in the Division symposia at the two upcoming National ACS meetings to learn more about the exciting science currently being conducted in the field. Attendance at these symposia generates revenue for the Division, revenue that is critical to supporting many of the important functions of the Division including travel awards for graduate students to ACS meetings. George Schatz is the 1999 Program Chair for the Division. George has put together a very rich series of symposia for the next two National ACS Meetings at Anaheim and New Orleans. These include topics such as the physical chemistry of sol-gel materials, unimolecular reactions and state resolved photodis-sociation dynamics, structure at electrochemical interfaces, chromophores aggregates, molecular beam imaging experiments, electronically non adiabatic processes, chemical wave fronts and patterns and free radicals in condensed phase dynamics. These symposia are timely and again celebrate some of the most recent advances in the areas highlighted. In addition to the invited talks, there will be a Divisional poster session held on Wednesday night that we encourage you to attend. A subset of these posters will also be presented at the SciMix poster session held on Monday nights at the national meetings. SciMix is a society wide event that includes papers from all ACS divisions (as well as FREE liquid refreshment) and is certainly worth attending.

The Spring National ACS meeting is traditionally the one that we honor physical chemists who have won prestigious ACS awards. The awards symposium will be held on Tuesday afternoon and will honor the 1999 awardees which include Richard Zare who has won the E. Bright Wilson Award, Douglas Henderson, winner of the Joel Henry Hildebrand Award, Ben Widom who is recipient of the ACS Theoretical Chemistry Award, James N. Spencer, winner of the ACS Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution and Jack Beauchamp who is being awarded the Peter Debye Award. We congratulate all of these individuals and look forward to their award addresses.

We strongly encourage all interested to become members of the Division and to maintain this membership. If you know of others with interests in this area who are not members please encourage them to join as we need all the members we can get! Revenue generated by the membership dues goes towards many valuable activities of the Division. Membership application forms can be found on the Division web page (see below). The Physical Division has two vigorous subdivisions for theoretical and biophysical chemistry. Richard Stratt and Robin Hochstrasser are the respective Chairs of these subdivisions. Membership in the subdivisions is free for anyone who is already a member of the Division of Physical Chemistry. We particularly encourage graduate students to join ACS and the Division while they are students. The cost of membership is low for students and the benefits are significant. One of the most important ways that all members can contribute to the Division is in playing a role in programming of future symposia at National ACS meetings. With your suggestions you can take an active role in guaranteeing the breadth and depth of these symposia. Current members can forward their suggestions to Division Secretary Mark Gordon ( Please include the names of potential organizers as well as possible speakers with your suggestions. Remember that the Program Chairs for the Division operate with a 1-2 year lead-time for most symposia. In making your suggestions, consider topics timely for the years 2000 and 2001. So join up and join in helping us to provide the best programs for the future.

For additional information about the Division symposia for this year and future years, as well as other information about the Physical Division, please consult the Division web page at This is actively maintained by Steve Bachrach with the assistance of Mark Gordon and his administrative staff person Kristin Hinders.

We look forward to seeing you in Anaheim!

Notes from the Secretary

Mark Gordon

This newsletter contains information about the ACS national meetings and any other items of interest to significant numbers of PHYS division members. All members of the PHYS division are welcome and encouraged to submit items for inclusion in the newsletter. The deadlines are generally around December 1 and May 1 for the newsletters appearing before the Spring and Fall ACS meetings, respectively. Feel free to submit information to Kristin Hinders, Iowa State University, 231 Spedding Hall, Ames, IA 50011;; fax - (515) 294-5204.

Election Information

The Bylaws of the Division of Physical Chemistry, approved in 1977, call for the Division Chair to appoint a three person nominating committee before the spring meeting. A complete slate of candidates prepared by this committee will consist of one candidate for Vice-Chair-Elect, one candidate for each of two vacancies on the Executive Committee, and one candidate for each vacancy that may have developed in the ranks of the Division Councilors, Alternate Councilors, and Secretary-Treasurer position. The Vice-Chair-Elect automatically becomes the Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, Chair, and Immediate Past-Chair in each succeeding year. Thus this person makes a commitment to serve five years on the Executive Committee. In the year this person serves as Chair-Elect the duties of Program Chair are also his or hers. The term of office for other Executive Committee members, Councilors, and Alternate Councilors is three years. The Secretary-Treasurer serves five years.

The Secretary-Treasurer is required to announce the slate of candidates in the fall newsletter (which is part of the abstract separates for the fall meeting).

To increase the input of the members in this nominating process and to broaden the pool of candidates, the executive committee seeks input directly from members for use by the nominating committee. Any member may suggest nominees to any of the officers of the PHYS division in writing. The nominee must agree to serve.

Additional nominations can come from the membership in the following fashion: A petition candidate must be supported by the signatures of not fewer than 4% of the members of the PHYS division in good standing (presently approximately 3,200). No signature shall be valid if it appears on more than one nominating petition for the same vacancy during the same calendar year.

A letter shall be submitted from each petition nominee stating willingness to be a candidate for election and to serve the Division for a full term if elected. No nominee may be a candidate for more than one vacancy. If nominated for more than one vacancy, the nominee must choose which nomination to accept.

Four weeks from the date of the mailing of the fall newsletter shall be allowed for additional nominations to be received by the Secretary-Treasurer. All valid nominations received within that period shall be accepted, and no others.

If no valid nominations are forthcoming from the membership, the nominees submitted by the Nominating Committee for Vice-Chair-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer and membership on the Executive Committee are declared elected.

Regardless of whether petition nominees are validated or not, the Bylaws require the Secretary-Treasurer to mail to every PHYS division member a ballot that bears at a minimum the names and biographical sketches of the single candidates for each Councilor and Alternate Councilor vacancy submitted by the Nominating Committee.

New Officers

New Officers for the PHYS division are:
Geraldine Richmond Chair 1 year
George Schatz Chair-Elect 1 year
Daniel Neumark Vice-Chair 1 year
Richard M. Stratt Vice-Chair-Elect 1 year
Julia E. Rice Executive Committee 3 years
David W. Chandler Executive Committee 3 years
Michael T. Bowers Councilor 3 years
Joseph M. Jasinski Alternate Councilor 3 years

The first six physical chemists assumed their respective offices at the close of the national ACS meeting in Boston, MA (August 1998). The last two began their terms of service on January 1, 1999. The PHYS division thanks outgoing officers Ellen B. Stechel (Chair), Geraldine Richmond (Chair-Elect), George Schatz (Vice-Chair), Daniel Neumark (Vice Chair-Elect), Anne Meyers (Executive Committee), Krishnan Raghavachari (Executive Committee), Michael Bowers (Councilor), and Gil Nathanson (Alternate Councilor) for their service to the Division.

Theoretical Subdivision

Theoretical Chemistry News is mailed semiannually to all members of the Theoretical Chemistry Subdivision. It includes news of symposia at national meetings as well as information about the Theoretical Chemistry Postdoctoral Position Clearinghouse.

Subdivision membership is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry. To join the Theoretical Subdivision notify the secretary, Michael Page, at the address in the table of officers. Indicate that you wish to join and mention that you belong to the PHYS division. If you do not belong to the Division, you may join both the Division and the Theoretical Chemistry Subdivision by completing the application form at the end of this newsletter.

Theoretical Chemistry Awards

The Theoretical subdivision administers an award in computational chemistry for theoretical chemistry graduate students. This year a first and second place award, sponsored by IBM and the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute will support the scholarly activity of theoretical chemistry graduate students, and encourage the use of computers in theoretical chemistry. Both awards carry with it 1000 node hours on the University of Minnesota-IBM Shared Research Project Cluster of SP and RS6000 computers. In addition, the first prizewinner receives a check in the amount of $2,500, the second cash prize is $1,000. Applicants for these awards submit a research proposal describing the scientific problem to be solved, and detailing how state-of-the-art computers would help in solving their problem. The 1998 awardees were:
1st Prize: Venkataraman Pallassana, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia
2nd Prize: John A. W. Harkless, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley

Biophysical Subdivision

Membership in the Biophysical Subdivision is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry. To join the Biophysical Subdivision, notify the secretary, Gerald Babcock, at the address in the table of officers. Indicate that you wish to join and mention that you belong to the PHYS division. If you do not belong to the Division, you may join both the Division and the Biophysical Subdivision by completing the application form at the end of this newsletter.

Spring Meeting Technical Program

The 217th American Chemical Society National Meeting will be held in Anaheim, CA, March 21-25, 1999. Dr. George Schatz, PHYS Division Program Chair, has arranged for the breadth of modern physical chemistry to be featured in seven symposia and a poster session on Wednesday evening devoted to a wide range of topics. The topical symposiums and organizers are:

Future ACS Meetings

San Francisco, CA, March 26-31, 2000

Program Chair: Daniel Neumark, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, (510) 642-3502, FAX (510) 642-6262,

Physical Chemistry in the 21st Century 

A special symposium to mark the turn of the century will be organized by the 2000 Program Chair, Daniel M. Neumark, University of California, Berkeley. The symposium will consist of invited presentations, contributed abstracts are not requested at this time.

  • Aperiodic Metals and Metallic Glasses: Surface Properties, Pat Thiel, Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, (515) 294-8985, FAX (515) 294-0105,
  • Patterning, Functionalization, and Reactivity of Complex Solid Surfaces, Janice E. Reutt-Robey, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, (301) 405-1807, FAX (301) 314-9121,; Doug Doren, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, (302) 831-1070, FAX (302) 831-6335,
  • The Physical Chemistry of Chirality, Janice M. Hicks, Department of Chemistry, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057-0001, (202) 687-5872, FAX (202) 687-6209,
  •  Potential Energy Surfaces: From Polyatomics to Macromolecules, Liem X. Dang, EMSL, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA 99352, (509) 375-2034,
  • FAX (509) 375-6631,; William L. Hase, Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, (313) 577-2694, FAX (313) 577-8822,
  • Physical Chemistry at High Pressure and Temperature, A. Paul Alivisatos, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, (510) 643-7371, FAX (510) 642-6911,; Raymond Jeanloz, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, (510) 642-2639, FAX (510) 643-9980,
  • Atmospheric Chemistry (Harold Johnston Festschrift), Charles E. Miller, Department of Chemistry, Haverford College, Haverford, PA 19041-1392, (610) 896-1388, FAX (610) 896-4904,
  • Frontiers of Protein Structure and Function, R. B. Gennis, Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois, 600 South Mathews Ave. Urbana, IL 61821, (217) 333-9075,
  • FAX (217) 244-3186,; Martin Gruebele, Department of Chemistry, 600 South Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, (217) 333-1624, FAX 217 244-0997,; Eric Oldfield, Department of Chemistry, 600 South Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801,
  • (217) 333-3374, FAX (217) 244-0997,
  • Co-sponsored symposium (co-listed by PHYS)
  • A Surface Chemistry Symposium Honor of Professor Gabor Somorjai (sponsored by the Colloids & Surface Division), Francisco Zaera, Department of Chemistry, University of California-Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, (909) 787-5498, FAX (909) 787-3962,; Michel Van Hove, Materials Science Department, Building 66, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, (510) 486-6160, FAX (510) 486-4995,
  • Washington, DC, August 20-25, 2000
  • Chemistry in Extreme Environments, Robert Morris (Air Force Research Lab) and Dana Dlott (Illinois)
  • Very Low Temperature Spectroscopy and Dynamics, Bill Stwalley (U. Connecticut)
  • Industrial Applications of Theoretical Chemistry, Anne Chaka (Lubrizol) and Bill Schneider (Ford)
  • Neutron Scattering, Herb Strauss (Berkeley) and Frans Trouw (Argonne)
  • Frontiers in Biophysical Theory, Ron Levy (Rutgers)
  • Pacifichem, Honolulu, HI, December 14-19, 2000

    San Diego, CA, April 1-6, 2001

    Chicago, IL, August 26-31, 2001

    Request for Symposia Topics and Speakers

    The Executive Committee solicits formal suggestions for symposia and speakers for the meetings to be held in three years. These suggestions will be essential input for organizing the programs of the meetings. Numerous symposia in 1998 and 1999 have been accepted based upon suggestions from our members. For greatest effectiveness, please follow these suggestions: a) Recommend a symposium topic, organizer and list of suggested speakers. (A list of all PHYS symposia since Fall, 1996 appears below for information purposes.)

    b) Provide a brief description of the significance of the symposium.

    The deadline for receipt of suggestions is August 1, 1999. (Address these to the Secretary/Treasurer, Mark S. Gordon, at the address in the table of officers.) The Executive Committee will meet in New Orleans in August to plan the programs for 2001 and 2002.

    Recent Symposia Topics

    212th ACS National Meeting Orlando, FL August 25-29, 1996 Experimental and Theoretical Approaches to Supercooled Liquids: Advances and Novel Applications.
    Bimolecular Interactions of Small Free Radicals
    Highly Excited States: Relaxation, Reactions and Structure
    Hyperthermal Energy Molecule/Surface Reactions
    Performance of Quantum Chemical and Molecular Modeling Codes for Complex Chemical Systems
    100 Years of Physical Chemistry: A Celebration of the Birthday of the Journal of Physical Chemistry
    213th ACS National Meeting San Francisco, CA April 13 - 17, 1997 Frontiers in Electronic Structure Theory
    Chemistry of Single Molecules
    Kinetics of Growth on Surfaces
    Symposium Honoring the Memory of Professor Brian E. Bent
    Dynamics of Complex Systems: Peter Debye Award Symposium
    Nanostructured Materials: Clusters, Composites & Thin Films
    Orientation and Alignment in Chemical Processes
    New Concepts in Surface Chemistry: Diffusive Motion of Atoms & Molecules on Surfaces
    214th ACS National Meeting Las Vegas, NV September 7-11, 1997 Biophysical Chemistry
    Dynamics in Molecular Systems
    Heterogeneous & Homogeneous Processes in the Atmosphere
    Radiation Chemistry
    Structure & Dynamics at Liquid Interfaces
    Self-Assembling Thin Film Materials-Organized Multilayered Systems / Nanoscale and Patterned Assemblies
    215th ACS National Meeting Dallas, TX March 29-April 2, 1998 Kinetics of Combustion Processes
    Electron Transfer
    Molecular Structure and Reactivity in Supercritical Fluids
    Structure and Dynamics of Amorphous Materials and Glasses
    Water at Surfaces
    Electrochemistry at Nanostructured Materials
    Device Applications of Nanoscale Material
    216th ACS National Meeting Boston, MA August 23-27, 1998 Special Topics in High Resolution Spectroscopy
    Structure and Reactivity of Complex Metal Oxide
    A Celebration of 20 Years of the Subdivision of Theoretical Chemistry
    Physical Properties of Polymeric Materials and Molecular Thin Films
    Innovations in Teaching Physical Chemistry Concepts and Courses
    Molecular and Supramolecular Photochemistry and Photophysics
    Biophysical Program: Oxygen Activation in Metalloenzymes
    Biophysical Program: Frontiers of Theory in Biophysical Chemistry
    Biophysical Program: Ultrafast Protein Responses

    Division of Physical Chemistry

    Subdivisions of Biophysical and Theoretical Chemistry

    We invite you to encourage non-members to join the PHYS division. It is the professional organization devoted to physical chemistry and physical chemists, and can be most successful with maximum participation by physical chemists. Some of the more practical advantages of membership are: 1. Members receive, in advance, abstracts of the papers to be delivered in the Division of Physical Chemistry programs at national meetings of the ACS.

    2. Members receive a newsletter with the abstracts of the National meetings listing future symposia and divisional meetings, and giving the deadlines for submission of papers to be presented at these meetings. The newsletter is included with the abstracts of papers for convenience.

    3. Members receive discounts on the purchase price of the complete bound books of meeting abstracts. Discounts for other books and journals are also available, and new arrangements are negotiated from time to time.

    4. The Division of Physical Chemistry is an affiliate of the American Institute of Physics, and members of the Division are eligible for a discount on various AIP publications including The Journal of Chemical Physics.

    5. The Division holds mixers at each national meeting of the ACS at which a divisional program is presented. These events are held in conjunction with a poster session and provide an excellent opportunity to meet other physical chemists.

    6. Members may vote and hold office in the Division and participate in its activities. Division Affiliates may not vote and may not hold office. Members and Affiliates are invited to suggest symposium topics, speakers and organizers.

    7. The Division maintains a close relationship with the Journal of Physical Chemistry. Through the Division programs, and through cooperation with the Journal of Physical Chemistry, we seek to call attention to the vigorous and dynamic character of physical chemistry in this country, and to stimulate intellectual cross-fertilization between the different fields of research in physical chemistry.

    8. The Division mounts important award symposia. The Debye, Hildebrand and Theoretical Chemistry awards are given each year, and the Langmuir Award every other year by the ACS. In addition, the Pure Chemistry and Nobel Laureate Signature awards are frequent features in Division symposia.

    9. In 1978 the Division established the Subdivision of Theoretical Chemistry. There is no additional fee for membership in the Subdivision. The Subdivision provides special services and participates fully in developing symposium topics, at the national meetings, specifically for the theoretically inclined.

    10. In 1994 the Division established the Subdivision of Biophysical Chemistry. There is no additional fee for membership in the Subdivision. The Subdivision provides special services and participates fully in developing symposium topics, at the national meetings, specifically for the biophysically inclined.


    Do your colleagues know?

    Many physical chemists are not members of the ACS and are not aware of the fact that they can become Affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry and the subdivisions of Theoretical and Biophysical Chemistry without being a member of the ACS itself. At $12.00 per year, the dues for Affiliates are the same as for Members, as are many of the advantages of association with the Division. (Division Affiliates may not hold elective office and may not vote in Division elections.) Because it is expensive to make extensive mailings to non-ACS members, to inform them of this option, we request your assistance in publicizing this information.

    Division of Physical Chemistry
    American Chemical Society
    Membership Application



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    Division Affiliate (Non-ACS member) $12.00

    National Affiliate (current National Affiliate ACS member) $12.00

    Subdivision Membership:

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