Category Archives: General News

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Mars panorama

Following a five-year work of data collection the Mars rover “Curiosity” has produced an impressive panorama of the Gale impact crater that it has been exploring. The rover includes several spectroscopic experiments, including a LIBS (laser induced breakdown spectroscopy) instrument, capable to probe atomic composition at distances up to 7 m wit a 1064 nm IR laser. Other experiments include Raman spectroscopy (532 nm), Time-Resolved Fluorescence (TRF) spectroscopy and Visible and InfraRed (VISIR) reflectance spectroscopy (400 – 900 nm, 1.3 – 2.6 µm).

In the picture below the first LIBS spectrum on the “coronation” rock (August 2012).

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Aromatics in space

Benzonitrile has been detected in the interstellar medium, as reported in Science. The interest of this aromatic molecule is the possibility of calculating the abundance of benzene from which it was generated, together with the growing interest to indentify the carriers of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic nitrogen heterocycles. The report is introduced by Joblin and Cernicharo in the same issue. An updated list of molecules found in the space can be obtained from the Institut of Physics at the University of Cologne. In the picture below the Green Bank telescope. Related to this, Nature informs that the Arecibo telescope was saved from being dismantled thanks to a mistery funder.

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Chemistry Anniversary

Category : General News , University

The Faculty of Sciences celebrated the 75th anniversary of the first promotion of the Chemistry Degree (1935-1942) last November 15th. The origin of the Faculty dates back to 1857, but only in 1923 the Chemistry studies were extended first to 2 years and later to the full 5 years Degree. The celebration included an historical exhibition with pictures and legacy documents, like the first Ph.D. thesis of 1957.

In the picture below a copy from the local news mentioning the anniversary, with the Rector and invited guests, all former alumni of the UVa.

Two of the exhibition posters are shown below.

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Nobel Day

Category : Cosmology , General News

The Nobel prize in Physics went to the gravitational waves, not a surprise. The Chemistry prize was for Cryomicroscopy (Method of the Year 2015 according to Nature Methods, but more a software development than a conceptual revolution). The Spanish Journal Investigación y Ciencia is presenting an article on the history of cryomicroscopy. Simultaneously, the Faculty of Sciences and the Spanish Physics Society organized an interesting conference last November 14th by Prof. Mariano Santander and Prof. Santiago Mar to introduce the gravitional waves and the detection technique. You can watch the talks on the YouTube channel of the UVa.

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75th. Chemistry-UVa

Category : General News

The Faculty of Sciences will organize several events to commemorate the 75 anniversary of the first full Chemistry Degrees at the UVa. Despite the Faculty of Sciences was first established in 1857, it was later reorganized in 1923 and only in 1942 the first 5-year Chemistry program was concluded. The events will include an exhibition honoring Marie Curie (September 21-October 20, 2017) and a series of conferences next November 15th.


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The XXII Horizons in Hydrogen Bonding Research conference was organized by the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) last September 10-14, 2017. The meeteing attracted a wide range of researchers interested in theoretical and experimental aspects related to hydrogen bonding. Alberto Lesarri presented an oral talk and two posters at the conference. Two meetings in Finland this year …

In the pictures below the conference photo, one of our posters and the Helsinki Senate square.

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Category : General News

The Cassini spacecraft was destroyed into Saturn atmosphere after more than 13 years orbiting the planet. A selection of 100 wonderful pictures of the mission was published by NYT. In his time in Saturn’s orbit Cassini found liquid methane-ethane lakes in Titan (1-100 km width) and  water-rich jets coming out of Enceladus south pole, among other discoveries. We will miss the robot.

Below a diagram of Titan’s atmospheric chemistry and Enceladus’ jets.

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Caminati Festschrift

Category : General News , Group News

Jens-Uwe Grabow, Alberto Lesarri and Sonia Melandri acted as Guest Editors of two special volumes of the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy dedicated to honour Prof. Walther Caminati on his retirement, with the title “Spectroscopy and inter/intramolecular dynamics in honor of Walther Caminati”. Prof. Caminati is one of the most important contributors to the development of rotational spectroscopy worldwide, publishing more than 400 articles in his career, with particular attention to molecules and molecular complexes presenting large amplitude internal dynamics.

In the picture issues 335 and 337 of the Journal of Molecular Spectroscopy and Prof. Caminati.

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Fair of Science

Category : General News

The Fair of Sustainable Science was organized last May 6 by the UVa, the Scientific Park and the City of Valladolid. The Fair intends to communicate Science to the general public, and included different activities and stands of several schools, research groups and companies.

Below the ecologic motor presented by the students of the “Antonio Tovar” High School:




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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”: