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Thursday, February 26, 2015

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    Leopold to Present on Onondaga Lake Restoration

    The March 5 session of Institute for Retired People will feature Dr. Donald Leopold, an ESF Distinguished Teaching Professor and chair of the Department of Environmental and Forestry Biology. He will discuss the many vegetation-based restoration projects at various stages near Onondaga Lake. Leopold has been working with engineers and scientists from O'Brien and Gere, Parsons, and Honeywell for the past 10 years.

    IRP meets from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Syracuse, 5833 East Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville. The meeting is open to anyone in the community who is retired or semi-retired.

    Further information is available at the link above or by calling Sandra at 315-443-5404 or sending an
    email to IRP is a community program of University College of Syracuse University, dedicated to the principle of lifelong learning.


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Chemistry Research on Cover of Journal

Quantum chemical effects in diesel ignition described by Dr. Zhang and Professor Dibble

Chemists and engineers are trying to understand how the chemical reactions of very short-lived molecules influences the ignition of diesel fuel. An important class of reactions is the isomerization of peroxy radicals (ROO), which leads to propagating and accelerating the ignition process. Because these molecules are short-lived and are formed in small concentrations, they are hard to detect. This means that theoretical calculations of their properties are usually needed to provide a complete understanding of their reactivity. The new study by Dr. Zhang and Professor Dibble examines how the quantum mechanical nature of the molecules changes their reactivity.

The problem is how a molecule without enough energy to isomerize can still undergo this reaction. The rigorous calculation of tunneling effects carried out by Dr. Zhang showed that tunneling can dominate the classical rate constant even at temperatures relevant to diesel ignition. In addition, less rigorous methods of computing tunneling do not always capture the full extent of tunneling, which can lead to significant underestimating rate constants for reaction. The significance of this research was recognized by making it the cover article for the journal which published it: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

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