Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Hs and OHs in the spotlight

Dutch researcher Mark van der Loo has investigated the influence of light on the behaviour of small molecules and has calculated the effect of light for several types of molecules.

His theoretical research into light-induced processes in the hydroxyl radical (OH), the hydrogen molecule (H2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) has directly contributed to a better understanding of chemical processes taking place on Earth as well as in the universe.

The interaction between light and matter is vitally important for a wide range of applications, such as the modelling of chemical processes in the Earth's atmosphere, research into combustion processes and the measurement and modelling of processes in astrophysics. Under the influence of light, molecules can vibrate, rotate, disintegrate or even be formed out of individual atoms. These processes take place according to the laws of quantum mechanics. Although the basic equations are known, solving them is a considerable technical problem. Thanks to Van der Loo's research, such solutions are a step closer.

Hydroxyl radical
The hydroxyl radical (OH) is highly reactive and plays an important role during combustion processes and chemical processes in the Earth's atmosphere. Van der Loo carried out calculations on OH, which examined the light absorption followed by decay and/or disassociation of the molecule. The lifespan of OH in atmospheric molecules is now no longer an uncertain factor.
Hydrogen molecules
Hydrogen molecules (H2) played an important role during the formation of the very first stars. The researcher investigated the contribution of the Raman association process to the formation of H2. In this process, individual colliding hydrogen atoms form hydrogen molecules under the influence of cosmic background radiation. Van der Loo was the first to completely describe this process from a quantum mechanics viewpoint and to accurately calculate it. His conclusion is that the process made an important contribution to the universe when it was about 10,000 years old, whereas the total contribution up until about 100 million years after the Big Bang is small.
Nitrous oxide
Nitrous oxide (N2O), laughing gas, is one of the greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. It can decompose in the atmosphere (photodissociation), into N2 and O, under the influence of sunlight. In the laboratory, photodissociation experiments can be performed to investigate the interaction between N2 and O at a fundamental level. Recently, a relatively simple mathematical model was used to interpret such an experiment on N2O. This model is based on the known N2O interaction at large distances between the fragments. In his PhD thesis, Van de Loo examines whether the assumptions underlying this model are valid and he draws the provisional conclusion that this is only partly justified.

Van der Loo's doctoral research was funded by the NWO programme Jonge Chemici (Young Chemists).

David Redeker | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA
27.10.2016 | University of Oklahoma

nachricht First results of NSTX-U research operations
26.10.2016 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>