A number of experimental techniques now exist that allow for the direct observation of temporally varying molecular geometries that occur during a chemical reaction. The most commonly used method is femtosecond laser spectroscopy. Another technique is picosecond pulse radiolysis, employing accelerator generated electron beams. Finally, highly promising new opportunities are provided by time-resolved X-ray diffraction/absorption: the pulses having duration of a few tens of picoseconds are generated by large synchrotron X-ray sources. Similar opportunities are being realized with the recent implementation of subpicosecond electron diffraction. The recent advances in X-ray sources (SLAC and XFEL) enable the use of subpicosecond pulses that will push forward our understanding of a chemical reaction. The use of those experimental techniques will certainly be fruitful in the fields of basic energy sciences and biochemistry. The conference will highlight such applications.
Theoretical analysis of experimental data is based on statistical mechanics of nonlinear optical processes. Methods of molecular dynamics simulation, both classical and quantum mechanical, are also required. These methods have penetrated unequally in the three disciplines just mentioned: widely present in laser spectroscopy, they are less extensively used in pulsed radiolysis and in time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy. We are currently at the edge of a new revolution in computing sciences that will enable the simulation of large quantum mechanical systems in dense media.
The purpose of the present Conference is to bring together experts of laser spectroscopy, pulsed radiolysis, time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy and theoreticians. These communities are not in the habit of attending the same meetings and do not have many scientific and personal contacts. We hope that our conference will improve the situation in this respect. The challenge is certainly worth attempting: observing the first instants of a molecule's life is the very heart of chemistry!
The conference takes place the two first days in SOLEIL and the last three days in FIAP Jean Monnet, Paris, France.
During the first two days, a bus service will be organized to travel between Fiap and Soleil.
Click here to have the Conference poster.