American Chemical Society
Division of Physical Chemistry
Spring 2004 Newsletter


Chair (8/03-04) James L. Skinner
University of Wisconsin, Department of Chemistry
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262-0481, fax (608) 262-9918

Chair-Elect ( 8/03-04) David Nesbitt
University of Colorado
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Boulder, CO 80309
(303) 492-8857, Fax (303) 735-1424

Secretary/Treasurer (8/01-06) Kenneth D. Jordan
University of Pittsburgh
Department of Chemistry
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 624-8690, fax (412) 624-8611

Vice-Chair (8/03-04) Barbara Garrison
Penn State University
Department of Chemistry
152 Davey Laboratory
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-2103, fax (814) 863-5319

Vice-Chair Elect (8/03-04) Bruce D. Kay
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 376-0028, fax (509) 376-6066

Past-Chair (8/03-04) John C. Hemminger
University of California-Irvine
Department of Chemistry
Irvine, CA 92697
(949) 824-6020, fax (949) 824-3168


Stephen Bradforth (02-05) University of Southern CA

John Hellgeth (02-05) SRN Company

David Norris (01-04) NEC Research Institute

Robert J. Levis (03-06) Temple University

Anne McCoy (01-04) Ohio State University

Jeanne Robinson (02-05) Los Alamos National Laboratory


John E. Adams (03-05) University of Missouri, Columbia

Michael Bowers (02-04) Univ of California, Santa Barbara

Alvin L. Kwiram (03-05) University of Washington

Ellen Stechel (04-06) Ford Motor Company


Patricia Thiel (04-06) Iowa State University

Joseph Golab (02-04) BP Naperville Complex

Marsha I. Lester (02-04) University of Pennsylvania

Gil Nathanson (03-05) University of Wisconsin


Chair (8/03-04) Zaida Luthey-Schulten
Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-3518

Chair-Elect (8/03-04) Benoit Roux
Biochemistry Department
Cornell Medical School
1300 New York Avenue
New York, NY 10021
(212) 746-6018

Vice-Chair (8/03-04) Jay R. Winkler
California Institute of Technology
1200 east California Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91125
(626) 395-2834

Secretary To Be Announced

Past-Chair (8/03-04) Peter G. Wolynes
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0332
(858) 822-4825


Chair (8/03-04) John Straub
Department of Chemistry
Boston University
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 353-6816

Chair-Elect (8/03-04) Sharon Hammes-Schiffer
Department of Chemistry
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 865-6442

Vice-Chair (8/03-04) Krishnan Raghavachari
Department of Chemistry
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405-7102
(812) 855-9043

Secretary (8/03-06) Anne M. Chaka
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8380
(301) 975-2481

Past Chair (8/02-03) Martin Head-Gordon
Dept. of Chemistry
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 642-5957

Remarks from the Division Chair for the
New Orleans ACS National Meeting
Spring 04

James L. Skinner

The Spring National ACS Meeting is upon us again, and David Nesbitt has done a superb job as Physical Division Program Chair in putting together a diverse and exciting program. In Anaheim, David has organized eight oral symposia including two focusing on theoretical chemistry: "Mixed quantum, classical, and semiclassical dynamics", and "Industrial applications of theoretical chemistry"; two in areas of biophysical chemistry: "Mass spectrometry of biopolymers: from model systems to ribosomes", and "Protein structure prediction and folding: where physical chemistry meets genomics"; two involving new technological developments: "Emerging ultrafast spectroscopies: from chemistry to biophysics", and "Optical microscopy beyond the diffraction limit"; and two on: "Intermolecular interactions and reactions involving ions and open shell systems", and "Nanocrystals and nanotubes". In addition, the traditional Physical Division Poster Session will be held on Wednesday evening. We will be continuing our recent and successful tradition of awarding cash prizes (on-the-spot checks) to the best student-presented posters. Please plan to attend the poster session and congratulate the winners.

The spring meeting is also when we honor our colleagues who have won National ACS Awards. This year, perhaps as testament to the vigor and diversity of physical chemistry, a stunning eleven award-winners have chosen the Physical Division as the venue in which to present their award addresses. As such, the Physical Division Award Symposium will be held both Tuesday morning and afternoon. Receiving awards this year are: C Austen Angell, Arizona State University (Joel Henry Hildebrand Award in Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liquids, sponsored by ExxonMobil); James K. G. Watson, National Research Council of Canada, (E. Bright Wilson Award for Spectroscopy, sponsored by Rohm and Haas); Sandra C. Greer, University of Maryland (Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal); Mark A. Ratner, Northwestern University (Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics, sponsored by General Electric); W. Carl Lineberger, University of Colorado, Boulder (Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry, sponsored by E. I. du Pont de Nemours);  Barbara J. Finlayson-Pitts, University of California, Irvine (ACS Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology, sponsored by Air Products); John C. Tully, Yale University (ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry, sponsored by IBM);  John C. Hemminger, University of California, Irvine (Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Surface Chemistry, sponsored by Occidental Petroleum);  Charles M. Lieber, Harvard University (ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials, sponsored by E. I. du Pont de Nemours); Ching W. Tang and Steven A. Van Slyke, Eastman Kodak Company (ACS Award for Team Innovation, sponsored by Corporation Associates); Mei Hong, Iowa State University (ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, sponsored by Alpha Chi Sigma).

I would like to invite all Physical Division members to become more active in the Division, as officers or executive committee members. If you are interested in participating in this manner, please let me or any of the other Division officers know, as a three-person Nominating Committee has recently been formed, and we are looking for candidates. In an organization such as the ACS, where the bulk of the work is carried out by volunteers, it is important to have diverse and active participation by the Division members.

David Nesbitt has already completed the planning for the Fall 2004 meeting, which will be held in Philadelphia next August. For future meetings, I would encourage all of you to provide suggestions for symposia you would like to see the Physical Division organize (or which you would like to organize under the auspices of the Division) to Barbara Garrison, who is the Program Chair for both spring and fall 2005 national meetings. You can also provide suggestions to any of the Physical Division executive committee members.

Finally, I would like to thank the officers and staff of the Physical Division for their dedication and hard work. In particular, the past Chair, John Hemminger, has made my job as Program Chair and now Chair much easier, as a result of his advice and instruction. Our Secretary/Treasurer, Ken Jordan, has worked tirelessly for the Division. His efforts to see that the money flows appropriately and quickly have made the national meetings run smoothly.  Elaine Springel has been our Division administrative assistant for nearly two years now and has provided invaluable assistance.

We can all take great pride in the health and vitality of physical chemistry. Let's keep up the good work!

Election Information

Dear PHYS Division Member:

The Bylaws of the Division of Physical Chemistry, approved in 1997, 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 vacancy 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 4,000).  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 of biographical sketches of the single candidates for each Councilor and Alternate Councilor vacancy submitted by the Nominating Committee.

New Officers for the PHYS division follow. The first seven physical chemistry officers assumed their respective offices at the close of the national meeting in New York. The Councilors and vice-councilors begin their terms of service on January 1, 2004.

James L. Skinner, Chair 1 year

David Nesbitt, Chair-Elect 1 year

Barbara Garrison, Vice Chair 1 year

Bruce D. Kay, Vice-Chair Elect 1 year

Robert J. Levis, Executive Committee 3 years

Ellen Stechel, Councilor 3 years

Patricia Thiel, Alternate Councilor 3 years

The Physical Chemistry Division thanks outgoing officers John C. Hemminger (Chair), James L. Skinner (Chair-Elect), David Nesbitt (Vice-Chair), Barbara Garrison (Vice-Chair-Elect), Alexander Harrison (Executive Committee), Arthur Nozik (Executive Committee), and A. Welford Castleman, Jr. (Alternate Councilor) for their service to the Division.

Notes from the Secretary/Treasurer

Kenneth D. Jordan

This newsletter contains information about the ACS national meetings and other items of interest to significant numbers of PHYS division members. All members of the PHYS Division are welcome to submit items to the Secretary 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.  Submissions may be made via mail, FAX, or e-mail.

The current ACS Bylaws & Regulations may be viewed at:

A copy of the bylaws and regulations is also included on the Division’s web page.

Biophysical Subdivision

Zaida Luthey-Schulten

Subdivision membership is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry. To join the Biophysical Subdivision, notify the Chair, Zaida Luthey-Schulten, 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.

Theoretical Subdivision

John E. Straub

Subdivision membership is free to dues-paying members or affiliates of the Division of Physical Chemistry. To join the Theoretical Subdivision, notify the Chair, John E. Straub, 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 Subdivision by completing the application form at the end of this newsletter.

Councilor’s Report

The Council of the American Chemical Society met on Wednesday, September 10, 2003, in conjunction with the National Meeting in New York. The first order of business in an agenda that was long on reports and short on action items was the balloting for members of the elected Council committees: Nominations & Elections, the Council Policy Committee, and the Committee on Committees. (Yes, there really IS a Committee on Committees!) Following that election, the elected officers of the Society made their oral reports. One item of interest mentioned by President-Elect Chuck Casey was that in 2004 he plans to provide matching funds for quality programming supported by divisions at ACS regional meetings. Nina McClelland, Chair of the Board of Directors, then reported on a number of items, including the ongoing discussions with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers about a potential merger/alliance/partnership (discussions which are still in progress) and the search for a new Executive Director, who would replace the retiring John Crum. (Since that meeting Madeleine Jacobs, the editor of C&EN, was selected.)

Let me mention in no special order some items gleaned from the various committee reports.

Student Poster Awards

James L. Skinner

The winners of the Physical Chemistry Student Poster Award Competition at the Fall ACS meeting in New York City are:

Congratulations to the presenters of these excellent posters! Each winner received $300 and a signed award certificate. The Physical Chemistry division thanks the many other people who entered the competition and also the twelve anonymous and impartial judges.

Request for Symposia Topics and Speakers

The Executive Committee solicits formal suggestions for symposia and speakers for the meetings to be held in future years. The Executive Committee will meet in Anaheim in March, 2004, to plan the programs for 2005. Please send your suggestions to the 2005 Program Chair, Barbara Garrison, at the address in the table of officers. These suggestions will be essential input for organizing the programs of the meetings. For greatest effectiveness, follow these suggestions:

a) Recommend a symposium topic, organizer, and list of suggested speakers (a list of recent PHYS symposia follows for informational purposes).

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

Recent Symposia Topics

222nd ACS National Meeting
Chicago, IL
August 26-30, 2001

Computational Chemistry in the Undergraduate Curriculum
Dissociative Recombination of Molecules with Electrons
First Principles Simulation of Chemical Dynamics
Molecular Electronics
Physical Chemistry of Gas-Particle Interactions Signal Processing Chemistry
Stereochemistry in Aligned Environments
Three-Dimensional Si-O Cages: Materials for the 21st Century
What Can We Really Learn about Condensed Phases from Clusters?

223rd ACS National Meeting
Orlando, FL
April 7-11, 2002

Biophysical Chemistry of Protein Binding Events Chemistry & the Environment in the 21st Century: Environmental Chemistry at Interfaces
Dynamics & Friction at Submicron Confining Systems
Frontiers in Chemical Dynamics
Mechano-Chemistry & Forces in Biophysics
Modern Aspects of Structure Function Correlations of Biomolecules: Electrostatic Aspects
Modern Aspects of Structure Function Correlations of Biomolecules: Enzyme Action
Modern Aspects of Structure Function Correlations of Biomolecules: Phosphoryl & Nucleotidyl Transfer Reactions
Molecular Modeling & Simulation of Reaction Mechanisms, Kinetics, & Catalysts
Organic & Molecular Electronics

224th ACS National Meeting
Boston, MA
August 18-23, 2002

Applications of Neutron Scattering in Structural Biology & Biophysics
Biologically Relevant Molecules in the Gas Phase Classical & Quantum Statistical Mechanics Studies of Solvation
Chemical Studies Important To Astrobiology Frontiers in Atmospheric Chemistry
Mesoscale Phenomena in Fluid Systems
New Developments in Force Fields for Molecular Modeling
Nonlinear dynamics on Polymeric Systems
Ordered Molecular Assemblies of Nanoparticles

225th ACS National Meeting
New Orleans, LA
March 23-27, 2003

Iterative Methods in Quantum Mechanics and Applications to Chemical Problems
New Electronic Structure Methods: From Molecules to Materials
Physical Chemistry of Biomolecular Motors Quantum Computing
Sequence-Dependent Curvature and Deformation in Nucleic Acids and Protein-Nucleic Acid Complexes Spectroscopy and Dynamics in Liquids Structure Function Correlation for Biological Ion Channels
Synthesis, Spectroscopy, Characterization, and Applications of Nanoparticles
VUV Probes of Dynamics and Spectrsocopy

226th ACS National Meeting
New York, NY
September 7-11, 2003

Combinatorial Biophysical Chemistry and Molecular Evolution
The Conduction Band in Liquids and Disordered Solids
Frontiers in Biophysical Methods
Making and Breaking Chemical Bonds in Gas and Condensed Phases: Theory and Applications Physical Chemistry of Complex Fluids
Quantum Monte Carlo Methods
Size-Selected Clusters on Surfaces
Slow Dynamics Near the Glass Transition

Spring Meeting
Technical Program
March 28-April 1, 2004 – Anaheim, CA

The 227th American Chemical Society National Meeting will take place in Anaheim, CA, during the week of March 28-April 1, 2004. Dr. David Nesbitt, 2004 Physical Chemistry Division Program Chair, has arranged a broad range of topics in modern physical chemistry to be featured in symposia and a general poster session at this meeting. The topical symposia and their organizers are:


A significant portion of the Division’s annual income is provided by the ACS, based in part on Division members’ attendance at the national meetings. On the advance meeting registration form, you will see a question such as that given below. If you list the Physical Division, you will contribute to our income and allow the Division to offer better symposia.

“Please list ALL of the division(s) to which you belong: _______________________________."

Fall Meeting
Call for Papers
August 22-26, 2004— Philadelphia, PA

Program Chair: David Nesbitt, University of Colorado, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Boulder, CO, 80309; (303) 492-8857, fax (303) 735-1424;

Online abstract submission for this meeting begins approximately mid-February. Please see for abstract submission access and guidelines. Only electronic abstracts via the ACS online submittal system, OASys, will be accepted, except by special arrangement with the ACS symposium organizers before approximately the end of February.  You can check the Division’s website for specific deadlines. The web page is

Submit your abstract online at the ACS website: Please see the following for more information regarding submission. As is now customary, Program Chair Skinner has arranged for the presentation of contributed talks in each of the topical symposia. The contributed talks will be selected by the individual symposium organizers from among abstracts that explicitly request consideration for oral presentation. The criterion for selection will be close connection with the topics addressed in the symposia. Abstracts not selected for oral presentation will be assigned to the poster session(s), unless the authors request otherwise. Since the organizers will not be able to accommodate all requests, the poster sessions will be specifically organized to group posters by symposium topic. While the symposia do cover a wide range of topics, they cannot cover the full depth and breadth of physical chemistry. The Division, therefore, also welcomes general contributions to the poster sessions, which will be grouped by subject area.

Restrictions on Speakers for PHYS Symposia

A speaker may give, at most, one invited talk in the PHYS division in any given meeting. Note that this rule does not apply to contributed talks and posters, so there is still plenty of opportunity for all physical chemists to present their research results in the PHYS division.

Submission of Abstracts

Abstract Requirement: Submit a 150-word abstract via the ACS web-based submission system, OASys.  Submission instructions and information on abstract requirements can be found at the ACS Web site,

Request for Contributed Oral Presentations: Authors who submit a contributed paper to the program and wish their abstract to be considered for possible oral presentation in a topical symposium must indicate such preference. The abstract should be submitted to the symposium in which oral presentation is desired and is due one week prior to the deadline.

General Information for Contributed Papers

General Papers – Members are cordially invited to present papers at the poster sessions. Abstracts should be submitted as instructed on the ACS Meetings web page, The deadline, as published in C&E News, on the OASys web site, and the call for papers must be observed to allow the ACS to compile the program and to print and to circulate the abstracts.

Information and Rules Applying to All Contributed Poster Papers

  1. No paper will be accepted unless an author expects to be present.
  2. ACS Bylaws 3(a) require that “papers by American Chemists or chemical engineers not members of the Society shall not appear on the program unless they be joint with one or more Society members.”
  3. Prospective poster presenters who also submit papers to other Divisions should inform the Chairman-Elects as to the Division, titles of papers and co-authors by the deadline date.
  4. Each poster paper will have a poster board measuring 4’x8’.
  5. All illustrations, charts, and textual material to be posted must be prepared in advance since materials for these purposes will not be available at the meeting.
  6. Posters should be mounted prior to the opening of the session and left in place until the close. Authors are encouraged to be present the entire session.
  7. There must be a heading (with letter at least 1” height) giving the title of the papers, the author(s), their affiliation(s), and the number assigned to it in the program.
  8. Illustrative material will be read by attendees from a distance of 3’ or more, so lettering on illustrations should be at least 3/8” high.
  9. There should be a logical sequence (introduction, development and conclusion) to the display and each sheet should be numbered.
  10. Mounting the sheets on colored construction paper and using other techniques for improving graphic impact will enhance the presentation’s effectiveness. Ease of reading is far more important than artistic flair. Certain color combinations, for instance, may look beautiful but may be almost impossible to read, especially in the absence of optimum lighting.
  11. Do NOT mount illustrations on heavy stock, which is difficult to mount on the poster boards.
  12. Each author is responsible for mounting his or her material at least 1/2 hour prior to the opening of the assigned poster session and removing it within 1/2 hour after the close of the session. ACS cannot assume any responsibility for materials beyond those time limits.
  13. Do provide sign-up sheets to record names and addresses of attendees who wish more information.
  14. Do bring duplicates of data and conclusions. Duplicating facilities are unavailable through ACS.
  15. ACS provides a modest supply of pushpins, masking tape, and felt-tipped pens, but it is wise to bring your own. Upon advance request, ACS will arrange for blackboards to be available in the room.
  16. Admission to poster sessions will be by ACS meeting badge only.
  17. A poster paper submitted to the Program Chair (before the deadline) for presentation at a national meeting should be considered accepted unless the author is specifically notified to the contrary by the Division of Physical Chemistry Program Chair.

Future National ACS Meetings

Philadelphia, PA August 22-26, 2004

Program Chair: David Nesbitt
Department of Chem & Biochem
Univ of Colorado
Boulder, CO, 80309

San Diego, CA March 13-17, 2005

Program Chair: Barbara Garrison
Department of Chemistry
Penn State University
University Park, PA, 16802

Washington, DC, August 28-September 1, 2005

Program Chair: Barbara Garrison
Department of Chemistry
Penn State University
University Park, PA, 16802

Atlanta, GA, March 26-30, 2006

Program Chair: Bruce Kay
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Richland, WA 99352


American Chemical Society
Division of Physical Chemistry
Subdivision of Theoretical Chemistry
Subdivision of Biophysical 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 division 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, 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 1978, 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.
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