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Nanotechnology leader Paul Alivisatos to discuss energy technologies and the carbon cycle, October 3-4, 2012.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- Distinguished chemist Paul Alivisatos, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, will give two campus talks including "Nanoscience and the Future of the Carbon Cycle," his keynote address to Vassar’s annual Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI) symposium, on Wednesday, October 3 at 4:15pm in the Villard Room of Main Building. His second lecture, “A Physical Chemist Looks at the Global Carbon Cycle,” will be presented on Thursday, October 4 at 12:00pm in the Scientific Visualization Laboratory of the Seeley G. Mudd Chemistry Building. Both programs are free and open to the public. 

In his October 3 keynote to the URSI symposium, Alivisatos will provide an introduction for a general audience to some of the fundamental concepts that underlie the newly emerging field of nanoscience -- the manipulation of matter on an atomic and molecular scale -- and discuss how such science is being used to develop renewable energy technologies and technologies for reducing carbon emissions. The overall URSI symposium (3:00-6:45pm in the Villard Room and surrounding College Center) will showcase scientific research conducted by Vassar faculty and students during this past summer’s annual 10-week URSI program.

On October 4 Alivisatos will illustrate how core subjects of physics and chemistry like thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and spectroscopy form a basis from which we can understand the global carbon cycle and the changes to it that arise from human activity. He will then present theories on how to establish a balanced carbon cycle. 

About Paul Alivisatos 

Paul Alivisatos is an internationally recognized authority on the fabrication of nanocrystals and their use in solar energy applications. He was named the seventh director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2009 and is also Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and the Larry and Diane Bock Professor of Nanotechnology at the University of California, Berkeley. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy facility on the grounds of and managed by the University of California, Berkeley, and as its director Alivisatos has spearheaded initiatives to develop a variety of methods of converting solar energy into renewable transportation fuel. These approaches include artificial photosynthesis and nano-based photovoltaic technologies, as well as the “Carbon Cycle 2.0” initiative, a multidisciplinary approach to developing ways to help restore the balance in Earth’s carbon cycle.

Alivisatos has published widely and is the founding editor of Nano Letters, a publication of the American Chemical Society. He is also the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the U.S. Department of Energy's Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, the Wolf Foundation Prize in Chemistry, the Eni Italgas Prize for Energy and Environment, the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics Award, the Wilson Prize, the Coblentz Award for Advances in Molecular Spectroscopy, and DOE awards for Sustained Outstanding Research in Materials Chemistry and Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment in Materials Chemistry. He has held fellowships with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Additionally Alivisatos is the scientific founder of two prominent nanotechnology companies, Nanosys and Quantum Dot Corp (now a part of Invitrogen), as well as a board member of Solexant, a highly touted photovoltaic start-up.

Alivisatos earned a B.A. in chemistry with honors from the University of Chicago in 1981, and a PhD. in chemical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1986. He first became involved in research related to nanotechnology during a postdoctoral fellowship at AT&T Bell Labs. In 1988, he joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, and became a principal investigator at Berkeley Lab.

About the Vassar College Undergraduate Research Summer Institute

The Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI) is an intensive 10-week campus summer program in which Vassar students conduct original scientific research under faculty direction. Founded in 1986, URSI is among the nation's oldest undergraduate scientific research programs.

URSI students are engaged in the entire research process: they formulate hypotheses, review scientific literature, develop experimental protocols, handle major instrumentation, gather data, analyze results, and present their findings. Each summer over 100 combined students and faculty members participate, and in the process create and nurture a tightly knit community of scientific scholars. Each fall at the annual URSI symposium students make presentations about their summer research projects. Complete information on the symposium and overall URSI program is available online at http://ursi.vassar.edu.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).

Vassar is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, and directions to the campus can be found at http://www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, September 7, 2012