Theory Group at Purdue
Chemistry, the study of phenomena deriving from the molecular nature of matter, is often referred to as an experimental science. In fact most chemists do work in laboratories, probing the molecular world with sophisticated instruments and experimental techniques. However, there are a small band of chemists who perform no experiments. Their desks are their laboratories and computers are their main instruments. These theoretical chemists replace the laboratory equipment of the experimentalist with mental tools like imagination and mathematical analysis. In brief theoretical chemists form models for molecular phenomena based on the fundamental laws of physics, they develop the theoretical and numerical tools needed to quantitatively analyze these models, and then they connect their results to experiments.
Theoretical Chemistry is an exciting, contemporary and broad field. Our theory group works on a remarkably broad and rich set of research topics, making Purdue an exciting place to study theoretical chemistry. Our research spans from exact properties of small isolated molecules, dynamics of elementary chemical processes in gas phase and in solution, reaction pathways of organic molecules, stability of matter, to control of chemical phenomena in the condensed phase.