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    Telephone: (520) 621-6293
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  • Chemical and Biophysical Dynamics/Laser Spectroscopy

    Professor Atkinson's current research interests are in two general areas:

    I. Molecular Dynamics of Fast (Picosecond) Chemical and Biophysical Reactions

    The molecular intermediates formed during the initial femto/picoseconds of chemical and biochemical reactions are studied by laser spectroscopy. The femto/picosecond dynamics of visual and photo-synthetic reactions such as those in the rhodopsin, bacteriorhodopsin and photoactive yellow protein systems are currently being examined. These time-resolved laser spectroscopies are designed to measure absorption and fluorescence, vibrational resonance Raman scattering, and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS). The last two of these spectroscopies are especially interesting since they provide information on the picosecond changes in molecular shape and structure (i.e., conformation and configuration) which often control reactivity in chemistry and biochemistry.

    New experiments which expand the application of picosecond time-resolved CARS measurements to DNA binding structures are being planned.

    II. Astrophysical Spectroscopy

    A collaborative research program designed to measure overtone spectroscopy of major chemical components of atmospheres on Jupiter, Titian, Mars and Uranus is underway using intracavity laser spectroscopy. These measurements provide information needed by observational astronomers in their chemical and physical analysis of planetary atmospheres.

    Selected Publications

    B.Radak, J.I. Lunine, D.M. Hunten, and G.H. Atkinson, The Intensity and Pressure Broadening of the 681.884-nm Methane Absorption Line at Low Temperatures Determined by Intracavity Laser Spectroscopy, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer. 52, 809-818 (1994).

    A. Popp, L. Ujj, and G.H. Atkinson, "Picosecond Dynamics of the Batho Intermediate in the Room-Temperature Rhodopsin Photosequence", J. Phys. Chem. 99 10043-10045 (1995).

    J.K. Delaney, T.L. Brack, G.H. Atkinson, M. Ottolenghi, G. Steinberg and M. Sheves, "Primary Picosecond Molecular Events in the Photoreaction of the BR5.12 Artificial Bacteriorhodopsin Pigment", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 92, 2101-2105, (1995).

    B.B. Radak, J.I. Lunine, D.M. Hunten, and G.H. Atkinson, "Line Intensities in the 645.75-nm Ammonia Band at Low Temperatures B.B. Radak, J.I. Lunine, D.M. Hunten, and G.H. Atkinson, "Line Intensities in the 645.75-nm Ammonia Band at Low Temperatures Determined by Intracavity Laser Spectroscopy", J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radial. Transfer, 53, 519-526 (1995).

    A. Popp, L. Ujj and G.H. Atkinson, "Bathorhodopsin Structure in the Room-Temperature Rhodopsin Photo-sequence: Picosecond Time-Resolved Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA), 93, 372-376 (1996).

    F. Jäger, L. Ujj, A. Popp, and G.H. Atkinson, "Vibrational Spectrum of the K-590 Intermediate in the Bacteriorhodopsin Photocycle at Room-Temperature: Picosecond Time-Resolved Resonance Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy", Chem. Phys. 212, 421-436 (1996).

    F. Jäger, J. Lou and K. Nakanishi, L. Ujj, and G.H. Atkinson,"Vibrational Spectroscopy of a Picosecond, Structurally-Restricted Intermediate Containing a 7-Membered Ring in the Room-Temperature Photo-Reaction of an Artificial Rhodopsin", J. Am. Chem. Soc. (In Press).

    F. Jäger, L. Ujj, and G.H. Atkinson, "Vibrational Spectrum of Batho in the Room-Temperature, Rhodopsin Photo-Reaction", J. Am. Chem. Soc. (In Press).

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