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“Novel Applications of Mass Spectrometry to Atmospheric Chemistry”
Recent developments in the field of mass spectrometry are leading to molecular-level understanding of environmental chemistry issues, particularly for air quality and climate change. Our efforts are focused on three main techniques: 1) chemical ionization mass spectrometry, for real-time identification and quantitation of trace atmospheric gases at ppt to ppq levels, 2) nano-desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, for the determination of the molecular composition of atmospheric organic particles, and 3) aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry, for the measurement of the size and chemical composition of individual atmospheric nanoparticles in real-time using laser desorption/ionization coupled with dual-polarity reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometry. I will discuss recent research findings, showing how my research group is applying these novel techniques to advance the field of atmospheric chemistry, particularly with respect to our understanding of the atmospheric compositions and reactions in the rapidly changing Arctic.
“Pittsburgh’s Industrial History Through the Lenses of Geography, Materials and Knowledge Production”
Almost from its founding in the late 18th century, Pittsburgh has occupied an important place in the USA’s industrial landscape. Pittsburgh’s location west of the Appalachian Mountains shaped its early patterns of industrialization, and with America’s western migration and innovations in transportation, the region came to rely more and more on its rich mix of natural resources, growing capital, and human capital to rise to national—and international—recognition as an industrial juggernaut. Fueled by its rich deposits of coal, Pittsburgh innovated in energy-intensive materials manufacture such as iron and steel, non-ferrous metals, and glass. Product and system innovations followed, and institutions of knowledge production were created to drive further the development of the region. Inventors, engineers, and entrepreneurs populated the region and became truly legendary figures in the larger story of American industrialization. Although Pittsburgh became known by such phrases as “Hell with the lid off” and “the Smokey City,” business cycles and structural changes in the national economy led to some tough times in the region. But continued investments in and growth of institutions of knowledge production and effective civic leadership proved to be key in the second half of the 20th century in transforming the region from its heavy dependence on “big steel” into a more diverse knowledge-based economy of specialty materials, science-based industries and services, and start-ups and young entrepreneurial firms. This illustrated lecture will end by arguing that geography, materials, and knowledge production remain key factors in the region’s evolving economy.
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The SACP is dedicated to the education of the membership, of the community and of the future scientists in our schools.
Call for nominations are open for the Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award and the Pittsburgh Conference Achievement Award.