Yale Chemistry Student Selected to Meet Nobel Laureates in Germany

J. Robert Roscioli (center-rear) with graduate student colleagues, Eric Diken and Joseph Bopp, and their advisor Mark Johnson, who is holding a model of water molecules.

J. Robert Roscioli, a student at Yale University, was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as one of 20 outstanding research participants to attend the 56th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students.

At the meeting in Lindau, Germany, June 25-30 Roscioli will participate in activities with Nobel Laureates. Since 1951, the Laureates in chemistry, physics and physiology/medicine have annually convened in Lindau to have open and informal meetings with students and young researchers from around the world. This year’s event, which traditionally rotates by discipline each year, will focus on chemistry.

Roscioli is completing his third year as a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, conducting his Ph.D. thesis work on how water nanocrystals rearrange themselves on an atomic scale when they attach an extra electron. To accomplish this, he has developed new laser methods that enable him to trap each step of the rearrangement process for structural identification.

“The big news about Joe’s work is that only one water molecule is present at the important trapping site in the most stable configuration — a conclusion that still confounds our theoretical colleagues,” said his thesis advisor, Mark Johnson, Arthur T Kemp Professor of Chemistry. “He will likely spend the next months looking at the onset of melting in these clusters of water by following their migration within the tiny structures.”

More than 400 international students participate in the meeting. The U.S. Army, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) are sponsors for the other students representing the United States.

The Laureates lecture on the topic of their choice related to chemistry in the mornings and then participate in less formal small group discussions with the students in the afternoons and some evenings. The primary purpose of the meeting is to allow participants,-most of whom are students-to benefit from informal interaction with the Nobel Prize winners. Informal meetings and social events are also on the agenda, including an evening gala, to allow participants to meet attendees from other countries.

On June 30, participants will ferry to the Isle of Mainau for closing ceremonies at the Mainau Castle, residence of the Swedish patrons. The late Count Lennart Bernadotte began the Lindau meetings.

Roscioli is the son of Joseph and Barbara Roscioli of West Chester, Pa. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

The URL for this year’s meeting is http://www.orau.gov/lindau2006 . The website and travel arrangements for all participants are being administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), which is managed by ORAU for DOE. ORISE is a U.S. Department of Energy facility focusing on scientific initiatives to research health risks from occupational hazards, assess environmental cleanup, respond to radiation medical emergencies, support national security and emergency preparedness and educate the next generation of scientists. ORISE is managed by ORAU.

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Janet Rettig Emanuel: janet.emanuel@yale.edu, 203-432-2157