We are interested in obtaining experimental information on forces which are responsible for formation of atomic and molecular clusters. Binary clusters (dimers) probe the intermolecular potential in the region of the potential minimum. Ternary clusters provide information on non-additive effects on the interaction energy. Larger clusters give information on possible condensation pathways. There can be many such pathways since the number of distinct cluster isomers (local minima on the total potential energy surface) increases quickly with cluster size. How do these different structures influence the growth of larger clusters? Are there preferred pathways, or is configuration space more fully explored? Such questions are ultimately relevant all the way from atmospheric chemistry (i.e. aerosol formation) to molecular biology (i.e. protein folding). In the past, the relevance of high-resolution spectroscopy to these issues may have been rather tenuous, but the situation is changing as more clusters containing four or more molecules are spectroscopically analysed.
Remote sensing of the atmospheres of the Giant Planets and their satellites is entirely dependent on the availability of suitable spectroscopic data. Data in the form of line parameters or absorption cross-sections are required to determine physical properties such as temperature and pressure as well as composition. Our group is interested in computation and analysis of ro-vibrational spectra of hydrocarbon molecules. The information will be used to study the methane cycle in planetary atmospheres. Methane and ethane are important constituents of the atmosphere of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Titan, and are also present around some cold stars and giant exoplanets, and brown dwarves. A thorough knowledge of the spectra of methane and ethane enables one to study the role played by these and other molecules because it is necessary to subtract the (often dominant) spectra of methane and ethane to study processes involving other molecules.
Office: SB 525 Lab: SB 126
Office phone: (403) 220-5394
Fax: (403) 289-3331
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Canada T2N 1N4