Monday, September 16, 2013

New horizons in hydrogen bonding

If it's tuesday, this must be Belgium. Somehow I can't get that out of my head, partly because I have been travelling a lot. I first saw the movie in 1969, strangely in Princeton, while on an 3 month overseas trip with my parents. My father was visiting Walter Kauzmann, who knew all about hydrogen bonding. I think we thought the movie was pretty funny. I was only 8 years old. But I watched it again a few years ago and did not think it was that funny anymore. But, I digress...

This week I am in Antwerp, Belgium attending the 20th International Conference on Hydrogen Bond Research. Why am I here? It is part of the process of trying to break into a new field.

The program and attendees are diverse ranging from theoretical physicists like me to quantum chemists to experimental physical chemists to biochemists. The challenge for me will be filtering through all the chemical detail to figure out what is really important and what is not. I am looking forward to learning more about halogen bonding, a hot topic lately. How is it similar and different from hydrogen bonding? In the abstract book I also found some interesting talks and posters, including the figure below, that looks pretty exciting to me.
I am giving a talk on tuesday about my simple model for hydrogen bonding and the role of quantum zero point motion.

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