Author Archives: albertolesarri

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Urbana meeting 2016

Category : Conferences

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign organized the 71st edition of the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, chaired by Prof. Ben McCall. The meeting attracts the most active people and groups in the world doing high resolution molecular spectroscopy. This year several Spanish groups contributed to the meeting, including a plenary talk by Pepe Cernicharo (the meeting program and many presentations are available). Alberto participated with two communications.


A memory to the work of late Prof. Flygare at the Noyes Lab – Univ. Illinois. Below, a partial view of the Urbana-Champaign campus showing the Foellinger Auditorium.



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Expansion expanding

Category : General News

The expansion rate of the Universe seems to be 5-9% faster than expected, according to new data from the space telescope Hubble which give an improved value of the Hubble constant. The report is published in Astrophysical Journal. However, this new value is in conflict with measurements of the microwave background radiation using the NASA Wilkinson MW probe and ESA Planck satellite. There are no explanations yet. According to leading scientist Adam Reiss “This surprising finding may be an important clue to understanding those mysterious parts of the Universe that make up 95 percent of everything and don’t emit light, such as dark energy, dark matter, and dark radiation”. I cannot avoid thinking that this looks like the ether hypothesis in the XIX century …

inflationary universe

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Mirror Images in Molecules

Category : Conferences , Group News

The workshop on “Mirror Images in Molecules: Spectroscopy Features“, was organized by the Walther Caminati group at the University of Bologna last May 27-28, 2016. The conference united several researchers interested in the connections between Chirality and Spectroscopy. Talks at the conference included several people from Valladolid and Bilbao: Alberto Lesarri, Juan Carlos López and Iciar Uriarte.


In the picture above: J.-U Grabow, S. Melandri, A. Maris, A. Lesarri (left to right). In the picture below the group photo of the meeting.




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Ribofuranose published

An article on ribofuranose appeared in Chemical Communications last April 1. In this work we explored the conformational properties of the biologically-active five-membered ring form of ribose using its rotational signature in a jet expansion. Previous studies in the gas phase and crystal structures had shown that the isolated molecule adopts a six-membered pyranose form, strikingly different to the biological use of ribose, as in RNA. Our spectroscopic information made possible a direct comparison of the observed gas phase preferences with the crystal structures.

Figure ribofuranosa

In the figure above the two observed structures of methyl-beta-ribofuranoside and a diagram showing the puckering properties of the molecule (intramolecular hydrogen bond parameters in angstrom).


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Jose A. Fernandez talk

Category : Group News

Our research partner José Andrés Fernández gave an inspiring talk to Chemistry degree UVa students on non-covalent forces last March 18, 2016. The title of the talk was “Non-Covalent Interactions: How to Sink a Ship with a Piece of Ice“. José Andrés runs the laser spectroscopy and mass spectrometry lab at the University of the Basque country in Bilbao (UPV-EHU) and at the same time leads a team on MALDI imaging. Our collaboration in high resolution spectroscopy now spans more than 10 years and three national projects, bringing together rotational and double-resonance electronic and vibrational laser spectroscopies.



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J2IFAM meeting

Category : Conferences

A group of five Ph.D. students from the University of Valladolid have organized the VIII Meeting of Young Researchers in Atomic and Molecular Physics (February, 24-26, 2016). The event is part of the activities of the Atomic and Molecular Physics Group (GEFAM) of the Spanish Physical (RSEF) and Chemical (RSEQ) societies. The meeting will bring together Ph.D. students and postdocs from several Spanish groups in the field interested to share their research experience, problems and possibilities.



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Gravitational waves

Category : Cosmology , General News

Einstein would be happy: Researchers at LIGO announced the detection of gravitational waves. Simulations indicate that the signal is originated by the merging of two black holes which collided 1.3 billion light-years away. The LIGO experiment is made of two facilities separated 3002 km. Each site has two L-shaped ultra-high-vacuum arms, 4 km long on each side, containing several interferometers. Distortions in the space-time caused by a gravitational wave produce an astonishing small -yet detectable- signal equivalent to 1 part in 10²¹. Watch the videos from or download a ring tone for your cell phone! This does not happen everyday.

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Caminati visit

Category : Group News

Walther Caminati visited the UVA the first week of December to discuss common research. Professor Caminati works at the Università di Bologna (Italy) and is author of more than 350 publications. He has explored multiple chemical problems using rotational spectroscopy, in particular molecules with large-amplitude tunnelling motions. He previously enjoyed a sabatic year at the UVa in 2005.


Prof. Caminati at the UVa last December 2015.

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Encounter on Physics

Category : Conferences , General News

The Faculty of Sciences hosted a new “Encounter on Frontiers of Physics” last December 2-3, 2015, organized by the “Duques de Soria” Foundation, together with the Universities of Valladolid (UVa) and Salamanca (USal). The meeting included seven conferences by different specialists on relativity, neutrinos, magnetism, graphene, Raman spectroscopy and others. José Cernicharo (ICMM – CSIC, Madrid) talked on “Astrochemistry: Chemical complexity in the space”.


In the picture above Pepe Cernicharo addresses the audience in his talk.


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Grabow visit

Category : Group News

Jens-Uwe Grabow visited our lab the last weeks of November. Prof. Grabow (Uni. Hannover) is a world expert in rotational spectroscopy. Some of his interests include the relation between Spectroscopy and particle physics, large-amplitude motions, and new spectroscopy techniques. The visit continues a long-standing collaboration with the Hannover group.

Jens_visit2015Prof. Dr. Jens-Uwe Grabow at the Faculty of Sciences – UVa.