Potential energy surface of the torsional vibration of phenylcyclopentene
Potential energy surface of the torsional vibration of phenylcyclopentene

General Interests of J. Newby

Spectroscopy - Acquisition and interpretation of vibrationally-resolved, electronic spectra.

There is so much information packed into even the simplest spectra. I think it is phenomenal that one can derive the structure of a molecule by studying its interaction with light. In the lab, we use jet-cooled electronic spectroscopy to probe the structure and dynamics of molecules. Jet-cooling allows us to take electronic spectra of molecules, free from the influences of intermolecular forces. We use computation programs to help in our spectral analysis.

Education - Development of demonstration and laboratory materials.

My first interests in chemistry were cultivated by seeing chemistry in action. I hope that I can inspire the next generation of chemist in the same manner I was inspired. I am interested in developing new laboratory experiences and demonstrations that will enhance student interaction and understanding in the challenging (and sometimes scary) discipline of physical chemistry.

Astrochemistry - Observation, spectroscopy, and origins of life.

There are few things as magnificant to me as images of nebulae. I am interested in the chemical evolution within nebulae. Through spectroscopy and photochemistry I want to learn how molecules 'grow' in the interstellar medium and eventually form the building blocks of life.