Last week in Germany I was pleased to meet Roland Wester who does beautiful experiments using crossed molecular beams to image complex chemical reaction dynamics. An example, is a recent Science paper where Roland's group studied a classic S2N subsitution reaction:
Cl– + CH3I -> I– + CH3Cl
Such experiments can provide significant tests on our basic understanding of reaction mechanisms, quantum dynamics and ab-initio electronic structure calculations.
I was delighted Roland told me he is planning to do some experiments on biological chromophore molecues including the Green Flourescent Protein chromophore. I am interested to learn more about this, particularly how it could provide a test of theoretical work of Seth Olsen and I, such as our recent paper in J. Chem. Phys., concerning photo-isomerisation of the GFP chromophore.