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Femtochemistry and Femtobiology: Ultrafast Reaction Dynamics at Atomic-Scale Resolution

(1996, NS 101)
September 9-12, 1996
Hotel Svartå Herrgård, Svartå/Björkborn Manor, Karlskoga, Sweden
Organizers: Professors Villy Sundström and Sture Forsén, Drs. Eva Åkesson, Tonu Pullerits, Arkady Yartsev, Lund University, Symposium Secretary: Mrs. Heleen Hjalmarsson, Lund University.

Twenty-five leading scientists were invited to the symposium as lecturers and discussion leaders, and about an equal number of young researchers were invited as observers. The scientific program consisted of 19 lectures. Ample time had also been reserved for informal discussions in the scenic environs of the Hotel Svartå Herrgård and Alfred Nobel's Björkborn Manor. The symposium opened with a reception at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, where its Secretary General, Professor Carl-Olof Jacobson, informed the participants on the work of the Academy. The rest of the program took place at Svartå Herrgård and Björkborn.

Today, the role of molecular dynamics (motion) in the functioning of molecular systems and in chemical reaction mechanisms is receiving great attention. There is a rapidly emerging realization that molecular dynamics often comprise the actual function, for example in the biological activity of enzyme or pharmaceutical, or in a reaction mechanism utilized to synthesize a new material. Molecular motion ranges across a broad time scale, from femtosconds (a millionth of a billionth of a second, 10-15s) for the most elementary molecular motions (molecular vibrations, charge and energy transport) to milliseconds and seconds for such complex dynamics as protein folding or DNA molecule synthesis.

In femtochemistry and femtobiology the dynamics of elementary chemical and biological processes are studied. Technical progress in recent years that has made generation of femtosecond laser pulses possible, now permits very detailed studies of the molecular dynamics of practically any elementary process in both simple and complex molecules - molecules in the gas phase, in solutions or on surfaces. Combining these new experimental methods with quantum chemistry and molecular dynamics simulations dramatically improves the possibility of gaining new knowledge about the function of complex molecular systems.

The symposium included extensive discussion of recent advances in this area, new challenges and conceivable future development opportunities. Progress in the following sub-areas was discussed in particular detail: chemical reactions in isolated molecules and clusters; elementary biological reactions and protein dynamics; the theory of chemical reactivity and molecular relaxation; dynamic processes in solutions; chemical reactions on surfaces; and methods for studying ultrafast molecular dynamics. The lectures have been gathered in a volume with the same name as the symposium and was published by World Scientific.

Afinrud, P. A. Manz, J.
Billing, G. D. Marcus, R. A.
Bowman, R. M. Mathies, R. A.
Castleman, Jr, A. W. Mazur, E.
Chergui, M. Mukamel, S.
Clary, D. C. Nelson, K. A.
Eisenthal, K. B. Pullerits, T.
El-Sayed, M. A. Schäfer, F. P.
Fleming, G. R. Scherer, N.
Gerber, G. Shank, C. V.
Gronowitz, S. Soep, B.
Greubele, M. Stenholm, S.
Hochstrasser, R. M. Stolow, A.
Hynes, J. T. Sundström, V.
Jortner, J. Syage, J. A.
Kaiser, W. van Grondelle, R.
Karplus, M. Warren, W.
Kinsey, J. L. Wiersma, D. A.
Larsson, S. Yartsev, A.
Laubereau, A. Yoshihara, K.
Letokov, V. Zewail, A.
Lineberger, W. C. Åkesson, E.


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