American Chemical Society
Division of Physical Chemistry
Spring 2008 Newsletter


Chair (8/07-08) Gregory A. Voth
University of Utah
Department of Chemistry
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 581-7272, fax (801)581-4353

Chair Elect (8/07-08) Laurie J. Butler
Department of Chemistry
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 702-7206, FAX (773) 702-5863

Secretary/Treasurer (8/06-11) Anne B. McCoy
Ohio State University
Department of Chemistry
Columbus, OH
(614) 292-4992, fax (614) 292-1654

Vice-Chair (8/07-08) Martin Head-Gordon
Department of Chemistry
University of California
Berkeley, CA
(510) 642-5957, fax (510)643-1255

Vice Chair Elect (8/07-08) Mark A. Johnson
Department of Chemistry, Yale University
New Haven, CT 06520-8107
(203) 436-4930, fax (203)432-6144

Past Chair(8/07-08) Bruce D. Kay
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Richland, WA 99352
(509)376-0028, fax (509)376-6066


Marsha Lester (8/07-09) University of Pennsylvania

Jingsong Zhang (8/06-09) University of California, Riverside

C. David Sherrill (8/07-10) Georgia Inst. of Technology

William F. Polik (8/05-08) Hope College

Vicki Grassian (8/07-10) University of Iowa

Gustavo E. Scuseria (8/05-08) Rice University


John E. Adams (06-08) University of Missouri

Michael R. Berman (06-08) AFOS

Ellen Stechel (07-09) Sandia National Labs

Paul Jagodzinski (08-10) Colorado School of Mines


Veronica Vaida (08-10) University of Colorado

Edwin J. Heilweil (06-08) NIST

Gang-Yu Liu (08-10) University of California-Davis

James Lisy (07-09) University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana


Chair (8/07-08) Cecilia Clementi
Department of Chemistry
Rice University
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 348-3485

Chair-Elect (8/07-08) Martin Zanni
Department of Chemistry
University of Wisconsin - Madison
1101 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706-1396
phone: 608-262-4783
fax: 608-262-9918

To Be Announced

To Be Announced

Past Chair (8/07-08) Jeffrey Saven
Department of Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, 19104


Chair (8/07-08) Todd G. Martinez
Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-1449

Chair-Elect (8/07-08) Bernard Schlegel
Department of Chemistry
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202

Vice-Chair (8/07-08) Gerhard Hummer
Laboratory of Chemical Physics
National Institutes of Health

Secretary Jan Steckel
Pittsburgh, PA 15235
(412) 386-4430

Past Chair (8/06-07) Angel Garcia
Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Science
Department of Physics
Applied Physics and Astronomy
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, NY 12180-3590
(518) 276-3590

Remarks from the Division Chair
Spring, 2008

Gregory A. Voth

Welcome to the Centennial Year of the ACS Division of Physical Chemistry! The PHYS Division has never been more healthy in terms of our membership, or science, and our future opportunities.

The recent Spring National ACS meeting was a great success for the Division. It was wonderful to see the city of New Orleans alive and well again. Program Chair Laurie Butler provided us with a superb PHYS program, with symposium topics including: Physical Chemistry of Atmospheric Processes; Computational Spectroscopy; Emergence of Function in Molecular Assemblies; Nanostructured Materials; Multiscale Modeling in Biophysics; Electronic Structure and Reaction Dynamics of Open-Shell Species; and, Spectroscopy, Chemistry and Imaging through Nanophotonics. We also honored our distinguished colleagues who won National ACS Awards. Please watch for the announcements of next year's ACS award winners later this year. We should all thank Laurie for her exceptional efforts in putting together a great Spring meeting for our division.

The Physical Chemistry Division also gives awards for the best student posters at each meeting. The awardees for the Spring 2008 meeting in New Orleans are given later in this newsletter and their pictures can be found on the web.

The 2009 Fall National ACS Meeting in Philadelphia is coming up August 16-21. Here again Program Chair Laurie Butler has done a great job. The PHYS Symposia in Philadelphia include: Water Mediated Interactions; Protein Folding Dynamics: Experiments and Theory; Advances in the Electronic Structure of Transition Metal Systems and Organometallics; Recent Advances in Biophysical Chemistry of Transport by Biomolecular Motors and Machines; Spectroscopic Probes of Chemical Dynamics in Gaseous and Condensed Phases; Fundamental Advances in Contemporary NMR Spectroscopy. George Schatz and Steve Sibener have also organized a very special symposium entitled Centennial of the Physical Division: Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future. This exciting Centennial symposium will feature many of our most distinguished PHYS colleagues, including several Nobel Laureates.

The PHYS Division continues to prosper because of our outstanding volunteers. We invite all PHYS members to become more active in our Division, as officers, executive committee members, or as symposium organizers. If you are interested in being an officer or being on the Executive Committee, please contact me and I will forward your name to the Nominating Committee. If you would like to organize a symposium, Mark Johnson ( is Program Chair for 2010. The PHYS Division will soon embark on a Strategic Planning exercise within the next year or so. If you have ideas on how the Division can better serve its members and/or expand its influence, please feel free to contact me.

I am also very pleased to announce a new ACS Physical Division Summer School Program in Theoretical Chemistry to be held every other year in Telluride, Colorado, beginning in the Summer of 2009. These summer schools are a result of the remarkable vision and generosity of Jack Simons, who created an endowment with his own substantial personal contribution along with a matching contribution from the PHYS Division. We are hopeful that Jack's effort can serve as an example for other endowed programs and/or awards within the Division, and that other PHYS members will consider endowing or contributing funds to help our division grow and continue to prosper. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in this possibility. I know that many of you care deeply about our field and may be in the position to consider such an act of generosity.

I also should add that it is very important for all of our members to become involved in promoting and supporting our profession. Please encourage others to join our division in order to keep our membership numbers within the ACS strong and growing. Please also get involved with governmental issues such as advocating increased Federal research funding. One way to do this is by joining the ACS Legislative Action Network (go to and click the "Policy" link for more information). The present fiscal year has been a very difficult one for Federal research funding. Scientists cannot take it for granted that our profession will prosper and that increased funding for research will be appropriated by Congress unless we provide a strong level of advocacy for our field.

Finally, I thank all the officers and staff of the Physical Division for their excellence, dedication, and hard work. The past two Chairs, Bruce Kay and Barbara Garrison, have provided me with invaluable advice, help, and encouragement. Our Secretary/Treasurer, Anne McCoy, and her assistant, Betsy Foran, do an exceptional job for the Division and their efforts are without parallel.

I look forward to the remainder of my 2008 term as PHYS Chair. We have an exceptionally vigorous, broad, and intellectually stimulating division. There is every reason to optimistic about our future together.

Call for Nominations for the Executive Committee

The nominations committee, comprised of Bruce Kay, Greg Voth and John Tully, is seeking nominations for opened positions on the executive committee. The positions include: