Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. TheMIT Department of Chemistryis taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
The Chemistry Education Office staff is responsible for administering the educational programs in the Department of Chemistry. Students can find answers to many questions about the undergraduate and graduate programs on the department website, and they are encouraged to stop by and see the staff in the office located in 6-205.
The student-run outreach programs in the Department of Chemistry aim to bring the excitement of chemical sciences to the community through lively demonstrations designed to illustrate a broad range of chemical principles. Graduate students visit science classes in high schools and middle schools in the Greater Boston area with a view to demystifying chemistry through hands-on experiments. ClubChem, an undergraduate chemistry organization, conducts Chemistry Magic Shows for elementary schools and youth programs in the Greater Boston area.
Chemistry is truly the central science and underpins much of the efforts of scientists and engineers to improve life for humankind. MIT Chemistry is taking a leading role in discovering new chemical synthesis, catalysis, creating sustainable energy, theoretical and experimental understanding of chemistry at its most fundamental level, unraveling the biochemical complexities of natural systems, improving the environment, detecting and curing disease, developing materials new properties, and nanoscience.
The American Physical Society has selected Haslam and Dewey Professor of Chemistry Keith A. Nelson as the recipient of the 2018 Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids. Nelson was chosen by the award's selection committee for pioneering contributions to the development and application of ultra-fast optical spectroscopy to condensed matter systems, and providing insight into lattice dynamics, structural phase transitions, and the non-equilibrium control of solids.
“[This award] is very special for me, because a great deal of the progress in my research into molecular and collective dynamics has been enabled by discoveries of new light-matter interactions, in most cases demonstrated first in crystalline solids and then in liquids and isolated molecules,” Nelson said. “The optical effects themselves are fascinating to me, and it’s deeply gratifying to see them recognized.”
The Isakson Prize is awarded biennially (in even-numbered years) as a memorial to Frank Isakson. It is given in recognition of outstanding optical research that leads to breakthroughs in the condensed matter sciences. The prize, which consists of $5,000, as well as a certificate citing Nelson’s contributions, will be presented to him at the meeting of the American Physical Society. The award was established in 1979, and supported by the Photoconductivity Conference. Since 1994, it has been supported by Solid State Communications.
Nelson’s research interests are in ultrafast optics, coherent spectroscopy, and coherent control over collective dynamics and structure in condensed matter. He has worked on discovery of new light-matter interactions and their exploitation for spectroscopy and control of coherent acoustic waves, lattice and molecular vibrations, excitons, spins, and their admixtures with light. He has developed novel methods for study of solid-state chemical reactions, crystals near phase transitions, glass-forming liquids, electronic excited-state dynamics, thermal transport, and matter far from equilibrium. Nelson has pioneered tabletop generation of strong terahertz frequency fields and nonlinear terahertz spectroscopy.