VOLUME 1 NUMBER 3 NOVEMBER, 2007 The Tallahassee Scientist THE NEWSLETTER/JOURNAL OF THE TALLAHASSEE SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY “We Rejoice With You . . .” TSS Treasurer’s Scientific Endeavor Continues to Earn Recognition Accolades continue to abound for Professor Naresh Dalal, the Paul A. Dirac Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, at Florida State University. Dr. Dalal is also the new Treasurer of Tallahassee Scientific Society. Dr. Dalal recently helped to solve a scientific mystery that had stumped chemists for nearly seven decades. In so doing, his team's findings may lead to the development of more-powerful computer memories and lasers. He collaborated with three colleagues, Jorge Lasave, Sergio Koval and Ricardo Migoni, all of the Universidad Nacional de Rosario in Argentina, to determine why crystalline ammonium dihydrogen phosphate, or ADP, behaves the way it does. "ADP was discovered in 1938," Dalal said. "It was observed to have some unusual electrical properties that weren't fully understood -- and for nearly 70 years, scientists have been perplexed by these properties. Using the supercomputer at SCRI (FSU's Supercomputer Computations Research Institute), we were able to perform in-depth computational analyses that explained for the very first time what causes ADP to have these unusual properties." ADP, like many crystals, exhibits an electrical phenomenon known as ferroelectricity. Ferroelectric materials are analogous to magnets in that they maintain a positively charged and a negatively charged pole below a certain temperature that is characteristic for each compound. Professor Naresh Dalal, TSS Treasurer "Ferroelectric materials can stay in a given state of charge for a long time -- they retain their charge after the external electrical source is removed," Dalal said. "This has made ADP and other materials like it very useful for storing and transmitting data. ADP is commonly used in computer memory devices, fiber optic technology, lasers and other electro-optic applications." What researchers found perplexing about ADP was that it often displays a very different electrical phase -- one that may be called antiferroelectricity. "With antiferroelectricity, one layer of molecules in a crystal has a plus and a minus pole, but in the next layer, the charges are reversed," Dalal said. "You see this reversal of charges, layer by layer, throughout the crystal." Using the supercomputer at SCRI enabled Dalal and his colleagues to perform numerous highly complex calculations that couldn't be duplicated in a laboratory environment. For example, they were able to theoretically alter the angles of ADP's ammonium ions and then measure the effects on the crystal's electrical charge. That approach ultimately led to their solution to the seven-decade mystery. "We found that the position of the ammonium ions in the compound, as well as the presence of stresses or defects in the crystal, determine whether it behaves in a ferroelectric or antiferroelectric manner," Dalal said. The team's research is important for two main reasons, Dalal said: "First, this allows us to further understand how to design new materials with both ferroelectric and antiferroelectric properties. Doing so could open new doors for computer memory technology -- and possibly play a role in the development of quantum computers. "Second, our research opens up new ways of testing materials," Dalal said. "Using supercomputer modeling, we can quickly perform tests to see how materials would react under a variety of conditions. Many such tests can't even be performed in the lab." A paper describing Dalal, Lasave and Migoni's findings was published recently in the prestigious scientific journal Physical Review Letters. Titled "Origin of Antiferroelectricity in NH4H2PO4 from First Principles," it can be viewed online at http://scitation.aip.org/getpdf/servlet/GetPDFServlet? And there is more. Dr. Dalal , has been selected to receive the 2007 Southern Chemist Award from the Memphis Section of the American Chemical Society. This award honors “an outstanding researcher who has brought recognition to the South,” specifically the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. A medal and honorarium will be presented to Dalal at a meeting of the Memphis Section of the American Chemical Society in December. “It always is a great honor to be recognized by one’s peers in such a manner,” Dalal said of the award. “I’m particularly pleased because this award recognizes the work I have done since I moved to Florida State in 1995.” He has made notable contributions to spectroscopic techniques spanning See DALAL, page 2 DALAL, from page 1 frequencies from a few hertz to several terahertz over more than three decades of pioneering research in magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mainly electron magnetic resonance. Such research has novel applications to a wide range of problems, from free radicals in toxicology and carcinogenesis to ferroelectric and magnetic phase transitions in quantum solids, quantum dots, quantum computing and high-temperature superconductivity. Over the course of his career, Dalal has been a prodigious writer and researcher, publishing scholarly articles in more than 350 publications. “We at FSU and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory are of course delighted to hear of Professor Dalal’s latest peer recognition,” said Alan G. Marshall, the Kasha Professor of Chemistry at FSU and director of the Ion Cyclotron Resonance Program at the magnet lab. “This one is especially remarkable because it is based on research conducted in the Southern geographic region.” Dalal came to FSU and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in 1995 from West Virginia University, where he held the Centennial Professor Chair of Chemistry. He chaired the FSU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 1999 to 2007, and currently serves as an assistant dean in FSU’s College of Arts & Sciences. Earlier this year, he was recognized as the top chemist in Florida by the Florida Section of the American Chemical Society, which bestowed upon him its annual Florida Award (vide www.fsu.com/pages/2007/03/15/FloridaAwardInChemistry.html). He also was named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1999, and in 2003 was designated a Distinguished Research Professor, which recognizes outstanding research and/or creative activity, at FSU. Dalal is the fifth faculty member in FSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to receive the Southern Chemist Award, joining Gregory Choppin (1971), Michael Kasha (1974), Earl Frieden (1987) and Alan G. Marshall (2004). __________________________________________________________________________________________ with a public's immediate concerns or demands. Universities make From Our President . . . commitments to the timeless, and these investments have yields we cannot predict and often cannot measure." THE August, 2007, issue of Scientific So often those who are in control of the purse strings demand American carried, on page 29, a short accountability. I would agree to a certain extent, but would also try to piece on the "Roots of Science Hatred" explain that some institutions cannot be measured justly without an eye to by Charles Q. Choi, who discussed the the future. There are countless inventions and concepts that would not findings of some Yale University have been developed if only current applications were considered. I psychologists. It seems that before doubt anyone could have foreseen the ubiquitous PC coming from the children can even speak, they are original idea of the solid state diode to replace the bulky vacuum tube developing common-sense assumptions diode, but that is what has happened. The world is much too complex to about the physical world, assumptions make any kind of reliable predictions of the future utility of any that persist into adulthood and can clash invention. For this reason, we need to rely on rational thought processes with scientific discoveries (and pre- to make our decisions, and not what the current "politically correct" sumably scientific facts already known). issues are. We need to learn to trust science to find solutions to our Dr. Barry Boerner, It seems possible that science will meet problems, even those which we bring upon ourselves by ignoring what TSS President an exaggerated resistance in societies science tells us. We will do that only when we, as scientists, are willing where alternative views are championed by trustworthy authorities, such to share our knowledge and enthusiasm with others, and promote science as political or religious figures. as a rational and objective way of seeing reality. ___________________________________________________________ We seem to have lots of both in our country at present, who claim to be ‘Dispatched’ from Columbus, Ohio, to Naples, Florida: seeking the truth while denying the truth that science provides. It is OSU’s Retired President to Head Up unfortunate that this comes at a time when it is conceivable that our continued existence could be threatened by our lack of response to the Florida Gulf Coast University critical problems of today. Former Ohio State University President Karen A. Holbrook isn't quite ready to enjoy the leisurely pace of retirement. It would seem that we need to redouble our efforts to reach people of all ages (even toddlers) about the benefits of science, and provide real This afternoon, Holbrook applied for the top job at Florida Gulf Coast evidence of scientific truths. Perhaps my thinking of trying to develop University in Fort Myers - a college five times smaller than OSU. toys that show some of the more subtle facts of our world may not have Holbrook, 64, moved to Longboat Key near Sarasota after retiring from been off track after all. Ohio State June 30. More recently, I read Harvard President Drew Faust's inaugural speech Florida Gulf Coast is tiny compared to Ohio State, with slightly more where she lamented that "American higher education in 2007 is in a state than 9,000 students, 64 degree programs and a $130 million budget. of paradox - at once celebrated and assailed." It seems that higher Ohio State has nearly 52,000 students, almost 400 degree programs and a education is revered and suspect, both critical to our survival as a world $3.7 billion budget. class economy but also thought to be archaic and out-of-date. Universities are asked to provide metrics that show only a part of the Before her five-year tenure as OSU's first female president, Holbrook worth of the universities. President Faust suggests a more comprehensive was provost of the University of Georgia for four years. She spent five definition to contemplate: "The essence of a university is that it is years before that as vice president of research at the University of uniquely accountable to the past and to the future - not simply or even Florida. primarily to the present. A university is not about results in the next quarter; it is not even about who a student has become by graduation. It is Holbrook’s move to Florida is particularly significant because she has led about learning that molds a lifetime, learning that transmits the heritage an outstanding scientific career for several years, and comes to us from of millennia, learning that shapes the future. A university looks both the state usually acclaimed as leading in scientific endeavor. We hope to backward and forward in ways that must - that even ought to - conflict have her involved with Tallahassee Scientific Society sometime. We’d Love to Hear From You! November 13 - Stress, Depression and the Holidays, with Larry Kubiak of TMH’s Behavioral Health Center. Please drop us a line when you can, to let us know of scientific developments taking place in your ‘neck of the woods.’ We’d also like November 20 - Menopause II, with Temple Robinson, Medical information on your achievements, or those of members of the Society Director, Bond Community Center. with whom you are acquainted. November 27 - World AIDS Day, With Sheila Morris, State Department Here’s our policy: we will send you an acknowledgment of you letter, of Health. primarily via E-Mail. We will then publish your letter in the ensuing issue of The Tallahassee Scientist - along with any applicable editorial Readers are invited to listen and reap the benefits. comment. ___________________________________________________________ Please send your letters by E-Mail, if possible, to email@example.com. On The Horizon . . . Otherwise, please use regular mail to: The Tallahassee Scientist, 4335 Members are invited to attend the Society’s meeting to be held at Sherborne Road, Tallahassee, FL 32303. the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory on Thursday, ___________________________________________________________ November 29, at 6:00/6:30 p.m., when the Society will discuss Beach Erosion. Special speaker will be Professor Joseph Donoghue, a Coastal Geologist at FSU. He will present historical data regarding Florida and its beaches, and offer recommendations for beach recovery and coastal real estate development. The Brogan Museum announces its annual children’s camp, Camp “All That!” which will be held at the museum on some of the days between December 27, 2007, to January 7, 2008. The camp is for K – 8th Grade children, and the daily program will be as follows: December 28 - Detective Day December 31 - Brogan 2007 January 2 - Art Party January 3 - Gadgets and Gizmos January 4 - Science of Illusion Janaury 7 - Brogan Bonanza Camp Fees are $40 per day for Museum Members, and $50 per day for non-members. And some discounts are available. Pre- and post-camp sessions (child care) are available at $5 per session. If you have an eligible child whom you would like to have attend, or if you wish to sponsor someone to attend, please obtain a registration form from the Museum at 350 South Duval Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301, or go on line at www.thebrogan.org. The 2008 Capital Region Science and Engineering Fair will take place at Tully Gym, FSU, on Friday, February 8, 2008. Our Committee on Mentoring (Student Enrichment) is inviting TSS members to assist with Field Trips on the afternoon of the Fair. We may also call on you to be a judge of the Fair: this would call for a commitment from 7:30 a.m. to about 1:00 p.m. ___________________________________________________________ Science News Tidbits Seals Assist in Gathering Data for Global Warming Studies. An international team of scientists from the Sea Mammal Research Professor Joseph Travis, who was awarded the Tallahassee Scientific Unit in St. Andrews, Scotland, the National Oceanic Data Center in Society’s Gold Medal of Honor, at the Society’s Annual General USA, and the Coriolis Center in France has been using seals as Meeting, held at the Werkmeister Reading Room, Florida State transporters of instruments in the Antarctica region, to examine the University, on September 10 last. Dr. Travis, who is the Dean of the effects of global warming. The instruments are glued to the heads College of Arts and Sciences at the University, is shown here delivering of the seals, and measure changes in ocean temperature and salinity. the Keynote Address at the Annual Meeting. These quantities are related to the actual location of the seals, so ___________________________________________________________ that the data may be used to plot three-dimensional diagrams to show what is happening in the ocean. When the seals molt, the Health Matters instruments are shed. Here are this month’s radio presentations, To Your Good Health, on WTAL-1450 (AM), also available on www.wtal1450.com, Tuesdays The data are collected whenever the seals dive and travel under 1:00 to 1:30 p.m.: water. When they return to the ice on Antarctica, the data are transmitted via satellite to St. Andrews. November 6 - Lowering Cholesterol Through Lifestyle Changes, with Steve Willis, Dietician, a Therapy Healthcare Provider Teaching Engineering to Viruses. Really, viruses can be genetically engineered to “return the favor!” A Professor of Material Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Angela Belcher, along with graduate students in her department, has successfully developed a method of manufacturing nano-fibers using viruses as the basic construction material. After treatment that will enable them to behave like streptococcal bacteria, the viruses are injected into a special solution, which prompts them to line up as fibers. In addition, the viruses may be coated with materials that will produce desired characteristics in the fibers. ___________________________________________________________ How Would You Like to Receive Your Scientist? With the start of a new year of operations, as well as the growth of our mailing list, your election of the method of receiving our journal is being sought once again. First, we wish to point out that, whereas we had used a WORD format for our E-Mail version in the past, we will now use the .pdf format, which eliminates automatic reformatting by some members’ computers. This issue (Volume 1, No. 3) is being sent to all members via E-Mail; please “Reply” to the E-Mail to say whether you wish to continue receiving it by E-Mail, or your preference is a hard copy, by regular post. With Best Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving Tallahassee Scientific Society c/o FAMU/FSU College of Engineering, 2525 Pottsdamer Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32310-6046.
Pages to are hidden for
"We Rejoice With You - Tallahassee Scientific Society - Florida State "Please download to view full document