George C. McBane

Department of Chemistry

Academic interests

[atypical picture of GCM wearing tie (Photo by Bernadine Carey-Tucker)] I enjoy teaching and studying physical chemistry and chemical physics. My research efforts up to about 2005 concentrated on intermolecular forces; the questions are "What are the shapes of small molecules? How sticky or hard are they? What are the forces that push them around?" I have used both experiments (primarily based on molecular beams and lasers) and calculations to try to answer these questions. Since 2005 I have broadened the computational work to include the intramolecular forces acting during ordinary chemical reactions, during photodissociation, and during collisions at ultralow temperatures. This recent work was carried out in large part in collaboration with R. Schinke and with J. Hutson.

I have research projects in progress in the following areas:

The primary instrument used in our spectroscopic work is a very high spectral resolution, high sensitivity, absorption spectrometer that works in the region of 1600 nm. Its light source is an external cavity diode laser. At present we use a multipass Herriot cell to study pressure broadening effects on overtone infrared lines. This work is carried out in collaboration with Professor Stephanie Schaertel.

Students with interests in computational work and computer programming may enjoy computational projects. These projects involve both electronic structure calculations and dynamics and kinetics calculations that describe the motions of the atoms during collisions and reactions. We use both classical and quantum mechanical models. For the calculations we use the computational cluster in the chemistry department and national supercomputer facilities. Several projects involve collaborations with experimental and theoretical research groups around the world. One current computational project is a study of the quenching of electronically excited oxygen in the atmosphere.

I am looking for up to two students to do research on either experimental or computational projects during winter semester 2017.

[picture of GCM at pool table (Photo by Bernadine Carey-Tucker)]

I also enjoy playing pool. The photograph at left was taken by Bernadine Carey-Tucker for a piece in Grand Valley Magazine.

Academic data


Lecture notes

Chemistry 353/355/455 (the "green book")
Lecture notes and handbook for statistical treatment of data in the physical chemistry laboratory. These were primarily developed for Chemistry 541 at Ohio State, and are now available to students at GVSU.
Chemistry 875 (OSU)
Lecture notes for a graduate chemical kinetics course. These are in much cruder form than the data analysis notes. There are strong echoes of several textbooks: Steinfeld, Francisco, and Hase, Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics, 2nd ed. (Prentice-Hall, 1999); Espenson, Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Mechanisms, 2nd ed. (McGraw-Hill, 1995); and Laidler, Chemical Kinetics 3rd ed. (Harper and Row, 1987). Handdrawn figures (many) are missing. This is the result of the first attempt to put these notes in electronic form.
Chemistry 356 (GVSU)
Lecture notes for the first-term physical chemistry course from fall 2015. This course is essentially an introduction to quantum mechanics with applications to atoms and molecules.
Chemistry 358 (GVSU)
Lecture notes for the second-term physical chemistry course from winter 2016, covering kinetics, thermodynamics, and a few other topics.

Reprints and preprints

The link under the title or short description usually points to whatever local copy it is legal for me to provide. The link under the journal citation points to the online journal page.