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.
Professor Deutch's research applies statistical mechanics to equilibrium and time dependent problems in physical chemistry. Emphasis is placed on developing techniques that permit the quantitative understanding of a wide variety of phenomena. Three distinct areas of research are under investigation.
One area is the theory of dilute and concentrated polymer solutions with attention placed on understanding the frictional properties of these solutions, for example, diffusion and viscous flow. Recent efforts have been directed to modeling the solution as fluid in a porous medium; to investigating polymer behavior in constrained spaces, such as, pores or thin films; and to applying the renormalization group technique to polymer problems.
A second area of interest involves two-dimensional chemistry. This work includes study of the chemistry that takes place in constrained environments such as at fluid interfaces, inside cells, and in liquid crystal solvents, where the environment influences both the equilibrium distribution of particles and their dynamic motion. Most recently, a theory has been developed to predict the equilibrium shape of lipid bilayers (both on surfaces and in three dimensional vesciles) based on the competition between surface tension and dipolar forces.
The third area concerns the theory of diffusion controlled reactions. Here the interest is in studying situations that arise frequently in practice but are not correctly described by conventional theory. A specific example is the enhancement in chemical rates that can be realized by modifying the dynamical pathways available for reactants to find each other.
In recent years, John Deutch's research interests have turned to physical chemistry and energy technology. Currently a major project is underway to analyze and model fuel cell behavior including technical, economic, and environmental aspects of these systems. A comprehensive interdisciplinary faculty study of the future of nuclear power has recently been updated (a download link is available at the study site; see inset) and the follow-on faculty study, The Future of Coal (including CO2 capture and sequestration) is now available.