Montana State University

Free public lecture about modeling water at the molecular level scheduled for Feb. 19 at Montana State University

February 5, 2016 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

A free public lecture about modeling water at the molecular level will be given at 4:10 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, in Room 103 of the Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) building at Montana State University.

James Skinner, the Joseph O. and Elizabeth S. Hirschfelder Professor of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present "The Mystery of Water and its Condensed Phases."

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, 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, Skinner will make extensive comparisons to experiment, especially linear and nonlinear spectroscopic measurements that sample water's static- and time-dependent properties.

Skinner's research interests are in the theoretical chemistry of condensed phases. He has co-authored more than 200 scientific publications, delivered more than 300 invited lectures, and has served as advisor to 32 graduate students and 14 postdoctoral students.

Skinner has received numerous 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) and the American Chemical Society Irving J. Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics (2012). He was awarded membership into the National Academy of Sciences in 2012.

Skinner’s lecture is sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Physics, and is presented by the College of Letters and Science's Distinguished Speakers Series. The series, which began in the spring of 2011, brings distinguished scholars to MSU to give a public talk and to meet with faculty and students in order to enrich the intellectual life on campus and enhance research connections.

For more information about this and other Letters and Science Distinguished Speakers Series lectures, please visit, or call (406) 994-4288.

Jody Sanford, or (406) 994-4288