Author Archives: albertolesarri

Dissertation of Rizalina T. Saragi

Category : Group News

Rizalina Tama Saragi passed her doctoral dissertation last March, 11, 2022, following an stay in our lab which started at the end of 2017. The evaluation committee included Melanie Schnell (Kiel + DESY), Luca Evangelisti (Bologna) and Emilio Cocinero (Bilbao). Rizalina will start a postdoc later this year.

Rizalina after the dissertation with a nice bunch of flowers

Symmetry and Molecules

Category : Talks

Alberto Lesarri gave a talk to secondary school students at the “Diego de Praves” High School in Valladolid last January, 25, 2022. The talks discussed the implications of symmetry in Chemistry, Physics and life.

What is the influence of molecular symmetry?
The students checked the different smell of samples of (+)-limonene and (-)-limonene, an easy test of how chirality can have distinct biological effects.

Dissertation of Marcos Juanes

Category : Group News

Marcos Juanes passed his dissertation on September, 2, 2022. The committee members included (left to right in the picture): Pascal Dr茅an (Lille), Jens-Uwe Grabow (Hannover) and Jos茅 Andr茅s Fern谩ndez (Bilbao). Marcos started later a postdoc stay at the Institut of Ion Physics and Applied Physics of the University of Innsbruck.

Marcos chose a bow tie for his dissertation.

Thiophenol stacking motions

An investigation on the thiophenol dimer and trimer was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. The weakly-bound dimer adopts a stacked structure, while simultaneously maintaining a weak S-H路路路S hydrogen bond. Two isomers were detected for the dimer in the gas-phase. Notoriously, a large-amplitude motion was observed in one of the dimers, exchanging the proton donor and aceptor thiol groups.


Cracking DNA for students

Alberto Lesarri gave a talk at the “Diego de Praves” Secondary School in Valladolid last February 2, replicating the 1950’s DNA X-ray diffraction experiment with a laser pointer and a light bulb. This demonstration experiment basically shows the diffraction of an helix, giving opportunity to talk of the experimental work of Rosalind Franklin, as explained in 2018 in the American Journal of Physics.

You can compare the pointer diffraction, with the real pattern below:

Matrine isomerism

An investigation on matrine , a tetracyclic bis-quinolizidine alkaloid from the Sephora plants, was published in January 2021 in Journal 聽of Organic Chemistry. The molecule showed two (trans and cis) isomers in the gas-phase, confirming聽conformational rearrangements in matrine alkaloids. Matrine alkaloids have four stereogenic carbon centers, producing a large family of 16 stereoisomers in 8 enantiomeric pairs.

Serendipitous experiment

Chemistry World has informed that the group of Prof. Jens-Uwe Grabow in Hannover (Germany) recently reported a serendipitous experiment in which they observed a rare non-covalent interaction between a molecule of OCS and a Xe atom. The group was checking a microwave spectrometer when they noticed the rotational transitions from the OCS路路路Xe heterodimer. The original work is published in PCCP.

The PCCP TOC graphic (PCCP, 2020, 22, 5615)

COVID-19 exponentials

Category : General News

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a planetary havoc. Vinod Bhardwaj reflects in his blog in about the consequences of not understanding exponentials or math. Time to rely on science (and the WHO).

See the wonderful graphics of Our Word in Data for the COVID-19 evolution.

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases by beginning of April, from Our World in Data.


Alberto Lesarri gave a plenary talk at the Spectroscopy and Dynamics of Molecules and Clusters (SDMC-2020) Conference, which took place the last February 20-23 in Kumbhalgarh (Rajasthan, India). The Conference was jointly organized by聽Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Jodhpur),聽Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS, Pilani),聽Malaviya National Institute of Technology (Jaipur),聽Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (Pune), and聽National Chemical Laboratory (Pune). The Conference was very dynamical, providing a great opportunity for scientific exchange. This was the first and probably the last Conference this year following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mario Bunge

Prof. Mario Bunge, a well-known philosopher of Science died last February 25, 2020. Bunge was professor of Logic and Methaphysics at the McGill University and author of many books, including Philosophy of Science, but also a longtime fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and has written several key articles on science and pseudoscience for Skeptical Inquirer.

The Bunge’s centenary Festchrift book and the cover of Phylosophy of Science.