Chemical Physics 

Guiding Committee: Lutz Hüwel, Physics; Stewart E. Novick, Chemistry; Brian Stewart, Physics

Beginning students in the chemistry or physics graduate programs may petition their department for admission to the interdisciplinary program in chemical physics. The philosophy underlying the program is that the solution to contemporary problems must increasingly be sought not within a single traditional specialty but from the application of different disciplines to particular problems. Students in the program will pursue a course of study and research that will familiarize them with both the Physics and Chemistry departments and, in particular, with those areas of overlapping interest that we broadly categorize as chemical physics.

Students entering the chemical physics program will choose an interdepartmental committee to oversee their progress toward the PhD degree. Students will still receive a Ph.D. in either chemistry or physics. Chemical physics students will be expected to take courses from both departments. The core of the program of courses consists of Quantum Chemistry (offered by the Chemistry Department), Quantum Mechanics (offered by either department), Electrodynamics (offered by the Physics Department), Statistical Mechanics (either department), and Mathematical Physics (Physics Department). For details of the course offerings, see the course listings under chemistry and physics.

Students will participate in the weekly chemical physics seminar series and will be expected to present at least one talk per year.

Students will follow the examination policy of their sponsoring department. Those chemical physics students pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry will take periodic progress exams based on the current literature, and in their second year they will take an oral qualifying exam that includes a short written proposal of their future Ph.D. research. A second proposal, external to their research, is submitted in the fourth year. In addition, there is a final oral Ph.D. thesis defense. For details, see the requirements for the PhD in chemistry. For those chemical physics students pursuing a Ph.D. in physics, there are three formal examinations: a written examination at an advanced undergraduate level (taken in the third semester), an oral Ph.D. candidacy examination (taken no later than the fifth semester), and a final oral Ph.D. thesis defense. For details, see the requirements for the Ph.D. in physics.

Students in chemical physics may do research under the direction of any member of either department. To aid the student in this selection and to sample the flavor of research activities in both departments, students will participate briefly in the research of each department. During the first year, students will rotate among as many as two research groups from each department, spending between four and six weeks in each group. It is anticipated that a student will be able to make a formal choice of a research advisor by the end of the first academic year at Wesleyan.

Possible Research Mentors: 
Fred Ellis, Physics (Quantum Fluids)
Michael Frisch, Chemistry (Method Development in Computational Chemistry) 
Lutz Hüwel, Physics (Molecular Photophysics) 
Thomas Morgan, Physics (Rydberg Atoms and Molecules) 
Stewart E. Novick, Chemistry (Molecular Beam Microwave Spectroscopy)
Robert Rollefson, Physics (NMR of Absorbed Molecules)
Francis Starr, Physics (Computational Physics, Liquids, and Nanotechnology)
Brian Stewart, Physics (Atom-Molecule Collisions)
Greg Voth, Physics (Granular Matter and Fluids)