Visiting Australian Professor Leigh Hargreaves updated the department on advances in detection technology with electron-initiated reactions in AMO science.
Remarkably well attended so close to finals, Leigh's talk reviewed some of the common techniques available to researchers today to study electron-molecule collisions in atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO). Leigh presented developments with new types of experiments enabling electron collision studies with unstable molecules, particularly fluorocarbon radicals.
Radicals are highly reactive and exist for only very short times. However, despite their short lifetimes, their high reactivities dominate the chemistry of any environment they find themselves in, one prominent example being the fluorocarbon plasmas used to dry etch computer chips. Despite their importance, laboratory studies with radicals remain difficult using traditional methods, and Leigh's talk focused on the advanced techniques he has helped develop to study these ephemeral species.
At CSUF, Leigh is collaborating with Morty Khakoo as part of an NSF funded effort with Caltech to study electron collisions with rare gases as well as polyatomic and bio molecules and will help direct student research.
Leigh has also requested opportunity to lecture part time in the department and has been teaching our applied computing course Physics 315 this spring. He will teach our advanced math methods grad course Phys 510 in the fall.
Leigh's wife Sarah just completed a too short visit to the US to attend a conference in Chicago and of course to see her husband. A few days before Leigh's colloquium, Sarah returned to Australia to finish up her PhD in American Studies! She hopes to be done and return to Fullerton by January.
It's great having you aboard, Leigh!