El Premio Nóbel de Química 2013

El próximo miércoles se conocerá quién recibirá el premio Nóbel de Química este año. Aunque parezca raro, los científicos hacemos apuestas de a ver a quién se le da el galardón. En el blog ChemBark se puede ver uno de estos listados.

Por el momento, el tema que parece tener más posibilidades de ser recompensado es el de espectroscopía de moléculas aisladas y aplicaciones de láseres al efecto. Uno de los posibles candidatos es Moerner, de Standford, cuyo CV es el siguiente:

W. E. MoernerW. E. Moerner, the Harry S. Mosher Professor of Chemistry and professor, by courtesy, of applied physics, conducts research in physical chemistry, biophysics, nanophotonics and nanoparticle trapping. He earned three bachelor’s degrees from Washington University in 1975 and master’s and doctoral degrees from Cornell University in 1978 and 1982. From 1981 to 1995, he was a research staff member at IBM, receiving two IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards. Moerner was guest professor of physical chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology from 1993 to 1994 and professor and distinguished chair in physical chemistry at the University of California-San Diego from 1995 to 1998, the year he joined the Stanford faculty. He was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1992 and received the society’s Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy in 2001. His other elected fellowships include the Optical Society of America, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Australian Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Otro candidato es el Prof. Michel Morrit de la Universidad de Leiden en Holanda. La descripción de su trabajo es la siguiente

Since the early 1990s, one can isolate the optical signal of a single molecule and single-molecule spectroscopy has quickly grown into an important research field. Not only is single-molecule detection the ultimate limit of chemical analysis, it also offers data free from any form of averaging over populations, providing information about molecular electronic structure and photophysics with unprecedented detail. A single molecule can be seen as a well-defined two-level system interacting with laser fields. It is therefore a nice object for nonlinear and quantum optical experiments. A single molecule is also small, often less than a nanometer in size. It can thus serve as a small probe for structure and dynamics of its condensed environment on a local scale of 1 to 100 nanometers. Our aims are to demonstrate and establish optical methods giving access to the nano-world, and to apply them to problems in physical chemistry, materials science, and biomolecular science.

Y, finalmente, un pionero del campo, el Profesor Richard Zare, absoluta autoridad y cuya descripción de su trabajo en LIF (Laser Induced Fluorescence) puede verse en este artículo.

Veremos si las probabilidades se transforman en realidad.

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