Friday, July 22, 2011

Structure for cis,trans-1,4-Difluorobutadiene

View cover at
New publication by Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Norm Craig:

Semiexperimental Equilibrium Structure for cis,trans-1,4-Difluorobutadiene by the Mixed Estimation Method.  Demaison, Jean F.; Craig, Norman C.
Journal of Physical Chemistry A 115 (27): 8049-8054 published online June 8, 2011
[access at American Chemical Society Publications, for subscribers]

Friday, July 15, 2011

Belitsky Lab Research Presented at ACS Spring Meeting

The abstracts of two presentations by Associate Professor of Chemistry Jason Belitsky have been published as part of the proceedings from the 241st National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, held in Anaheim, CA, March 27-31, 2011.

The first presentation was a collaboration with Oberlin students (Lye and Moore both graduated in 2011, Ellowitz expects to graduate in 2012).

Melanin-based coatings for environmental applications.
Lye, Diane; Moore, Christine; Ellowitz, Micah; Belitsky, Jason M.
Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society 241:  CHED-547 March 27 2011
Structure image
from Wikipedia
This work involved immobilizing melanin from human hair and testing the binding of melanin and its synthetic analogs with heavy metals and dyes, and efforts toward heavy metal sequestration.

Melanin molecular recognition. Belitsky, Jason M.
Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society 241: ORGN-676 March 27 2011
Belitsky's talk focused on analogs of eumelanin and their interactions with metal ions and boronic acids.  His research furthers understanding of colorimetric sensors for lead and inhibitors of synthetic melanin, including applications for molecular imprinting and inhibition.

The abstracts do not appear on the ACS website for viewing by the public, but may be found in SciFinder.

Friday, July 08, 2011

"It was a lark." -- Freeman Dyson, on the early Los Alamos community

On the new book shelf today is a very slim pamphlet, containing the transcript of the PBS production The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb (1981).  Transcribed and printed by PTV Publications, Kent, Ohio, this written record of the public broadcasting production by Jon Else gives a fascinating picture of gathering the best physicists and their students in the "boom town" of Los Alamos.  Under Oppenheimer's leadership, this group of brilliant thinkers, with "kind hearts and humanist feelings," went to work on a weapon of mass destruction.  The Day After Trinity explores how and why the atomic bomb was developed, in the context of relationships of the scientists working together under great stress.  "Their average age was 29, and their job was to construct a mechanism which would trigger, in a millionth of a second, a violet chain reaction.  They had two dance bands, a soda fountain, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, a radio station with no call letters, aa cyclotron, and 7,000 fire extinguishers," says the narrator.  Freeman Dyson, then a physicist with the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, remarked "The most striking contraction is the fact that this man [Oppenheimer], who was so unworldly, so unpolitical in his youth, such a great scholar, so fond of metaphysical poetry, should suddenly emerge as the great administrator who put Los Alamos together and produced the atomic bomb."

It is still very thought-provoking reading, 30 years after the making of the documentary.  As we approach the 66th anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nakasaki, Oppenheimer's words remain relevant:  "I think the only hope for our future safety must lie in a collaboration, based on confidence and good faith, with the other peoples of the world."  [OBIS catalog record]

Friday, July 01, 2011

Faculty publication: Tracie Paine, in Neuropsychopharmacology

More into @
A new publication by Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Tracie Paine:

Schizophrenia- Like Attentional Deficits Following Blockade of Prefrontal Cortex GABA(A) Receptors.
Paine, Tracie A.; Slipp, Lauren E.; Carlezon, William A., Jr.
Neuropsychopharmacology 36 (8): 1703-1713 July 2011 [read the abstract]

Oberlin College Library does not have access to this journal (a print subscription costs $2,846 and an online site license would be considerably more).  We can obtain a copy through Interlibrary Loan.