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.

[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