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March for Science

Category : General News

The federation of Spanish scientific societies (COSCE) is promoting the “Manifest for Science 2017“, asking for  a coherent and permanent impulse to Science in Spain. The document can be signed on-line. This initiative is coincident with the global “March for Science” organized worldwide last April, 22, and near simultaneous with the discussion of the Spanish national budget, where scientific funding will decrease (again) by ca. 2.64% in 2017 according to COSCE. The funding cuts in Science accumulate more than 30% in recent years. Choose your option: 1) There is no future for Science in Spain; 2) We are so smart that we can work without budget. 3) No problem because we have very good football teams.

You can see below a picture of our lab taken from a satellite:

And a picture of Madrid’s “March for Science”:

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Femtochemistry talk

Category : Group News , Talks

Prof. Luis Banares (Univ. Complutense Madrid) visited our University on November 18 and gave a lecture to the Chemistry students on “Femtoscopy” or how femtosecond lasers can be used to observe and manipulate chemical reactions.


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Prague meeting 2016

Category : Conferences

Prof. Stepan Urban and his group at the University of Chemistry and Technology of Prague (VSCHT) organized the 2016 edition of the International Conference on High Resolution Molecular Spectroscopy from August 30 to September 3, 2016. Plenary talks included contributions from Cristobal Pérez (now in Schnell‘s group at Hamburg), José L. Alonso and Tim Zwier. The special Ioannes Marcus Marci Session was given by Prof. Richard N. Zare. The next Conference will be organized jointly by the University of Valladolid and the University of Basque country in Bilbao in 2018, with Alberto Lesarri and Emilio J. Cocinero as chairmen.

Below a view of Prague and the entrance to the University of Chemistry and Technology.


And below Alberto presenting the next 2018 Conference to be organized with Emilio J. Cocinero in Bilbao:

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China visit

Category : Group News

A new microwave Spectroscopy group has been created at the University of Chongqing by two chinese researchers at the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engeering, Qian Gou and Gang Feng. Alberto Lesarri and Jens-Uwe Grabow were invited to visit the lab  in the wonderful Huxi campus in Chongqing last August for the first operations of the new spectrometer. The University of Chongqing was founded in 1929 and comprises 4 campus. Alberto gave a talk reviewing the applications of rotational Spectroscopy to structural Chemistry (August 5th) and a seminar on spectroscopic software tools (August 8th). Excellent hospitality in Chongqing and great future for Spectroscopy in China.


Above, Qian and Alberto at the end of his talk. Below, a view of the Huxi Campus of the University of Chongqing.


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Enflurane published

The conformational landscape of enflurane was published in Chemistry – A European Journal. This report closes a series or rotational investigations on volatile and injection anesthetics, including among others sevoflurane, isoflurane and propofol. Enflurane has three distinct rotamers in the gas phase, originated by the internal rotation of the terminal chlorine atom. The presence of hyperfine interations and different isotopologues resulted in a crowded spectrum, as can be observed in the figure below.figure-ethrane-web

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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.