Speaker: James Skinner, Joseph O. and Elizabeth S. Hirschfelder Professor of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Date: Friday, February 19, 2016
Time: 4:10 PM 
Place: 103 EPS

Title: The Mystery of Water and its Condensed Phases

Sponsoring departments
Chemistry & Biochemistry

Summary: The properties of water, an important and unusual substance, have been difficult to understand and model theoretically, especially in its many condensed phases. In this talk, Dr. Skinner will introduce a new approach, involving explicit three-body interactions, to model water at the molecular level. Using this model, he will discuss the bulk liquid, the liquid/vapor interface, crystalline and amorphous ices, and water clusters. In addition, Dr. Skinner will make extensive comparison to experiment, especially linear and nonlinear spectroscopic measurements that sample water's static and time dependent properties.

About the speaker: James Skinner attended the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he was a double major in physics and chemistry (highest honors in each major). He then entered Harvard University, where he studied with Professor Peter Wolynes, received an NSF graduate fellowship, and graduated with his Ph.D. in chemical physics in 1979. His postdoctoral work at Stanford was under the direction of Hans Andersen, and supported by an NSF postdoctoral fellowship. In 1981 Skinner joined the faculty of Columbia University, becoming Professor of Chemistry in 1986. In 1990, he moved to the University of Wisconsin, as the Joseph O. Hirschfelder Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Theoretical Chemistry Institute. In 2010 he was appointed Joseph O. and Elizabeth S. Hirschfelder Professor of Chemistry. Skinner has been the recipient of a number of awards for both scholarship and teaching, including the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2003), Fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006), American Chemical Society Division of Physical Chemistry Award in Theoretical Chemistry (2011), American Chemical Society Irving J. Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics (2012), and Member of the National Academy of Sciences (2012). He has coauthored over 200 scientific publications, has given over 300 invited lectures, and has served as advisor to 32 graduate students and 14 postdocs. Skinner's research interests are in the theoretical chemistry of condensed phases.