Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ashland Alum Pursues Spectroscopy Research

David Wilcox (Chemistry ’08), who is working on a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at Purdue University, has just published a paper in the journal Chemical Physics Letters (doi:10.106/j.cplett.2011.04.001). The paper, titled “Additional conformer observed in the microwave spectrum of methyl vinyl ketone [MVK],” describes the use of chirped-pulse Fourier transform microwave spectroscopy for structural analysis of MVK, and provides evidence for a previously undocumented conformation of this molecule. MVK is an important compound in atmospheric chemistry which can react with hydroxyl radical to form reactive aldehydes.

While a student at Ashland, David conducted research with Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer that helped develop new methods of analysis for root exudates in soil. David writes, "The education I received at Ashland University greatly prepared me for graduate level research. In conjunction with research under Dr. Weidenhamer, the lab and classroom experience equipped me with the problem-solving tools that I still use to accomplish goals in my research at Purdue.” After completing his Ph.D. requirements, David plans on pursuing a post-doctoral position in molecular spectroscopy.

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