Grove City College Professor of Chemistry Dr. Michael Falcetta’s work has been included in the latest collection of key research published online by The Journal of Physical Chemistry A.
The work is the result of a collaboration with Dr. Kenneth Jordan, Richard King Mellon Professor and Associate Director, Center for Research Computing, University of Pittsburgh. “Role of overlap between the Discrete State and Pseudocontinuum States in Stabilization Calculations of Metastable States” by Falcetta, Jordan, and Stephen R. Slimak was originally published last year in the 125th volume of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A.
The research has applications across a range of scientific disciplines, Falcetta said.
“The addition of electrons to molecular species is vital to many biological and technological processes, such as photosynthesis in which plants turn sunlight into food by adding electrons and hydrogen atoms to carbon dioxide to form sugars and oxygen molecules,” he said.
“Amazingly, the details of the attachment of an electron to even a single carbon dioxide molecule and the subsequent effects on the molecular motion are still a matter of active research endeavors,” Falcetta said. The key to understanding that process in detail lies in developing computational tools to model the attachment of an electron to the molecule.
“We have been working on one such computational tool for several years and the current paper seeks to provide a physical underpinning for why the method works. With a deeper understanding of the underlying basis of the methodology we are better able to apply the method and be aware of situations in which more sophisticated approaches are required,” Falcetta said.
Published by the American Chemical Society, the Journal of Physical Chemistry A covers high-impact, peer-reviewed research in the discipline of computational physical chemistry and creates virtual electronic-only collections to highlight diverse areas of research in the chemical sciences for both experienced investigators as well as students.
For information about Chemistry at Grove City College, visit gcc.edu/chem.