Quantum Mechanics and the Future of the Planet presented by Emily A. Carter

An Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics Public Lecture.

Monday, November 04, 2013
4:30 PM
Korn Convocation Hall, Anderson School, UCLA


Light refreshments will be served in the foyer immediately preceding the lecture.

This lecture is part of a series of lectures around the world associated with Mathematics of Planet Earth, with support from the Simon’s Foundation. For more information, go to http://mpe2013.org/.

For more information, visit http://www.ipam.ucla.edu/programs/msews3/lecture.aspx.

What does quantum mechanics have to do with the future of the planet?

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere recently exceeded 400 ppm for the first time in human history. The reason is clear: humans have been burning fossil fuels at an ever-increasing rate and those carbon-based, non-renewable fuels are producing the CO2 that in turn warms the earth and causes climate change. In this lecture, I will give examples of how quantum mechanics can be used to study systems that aim to render sustainable energy a reality: from biodiesel fuel combustion to solar energy conversion to electricity and fuels to fuel cells to fusion reactors. I intend to give you a taste of what is possible, given proper attention and investment, for the future of the planet.

The Speaker:
Professor Carter is Founding Director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University. The 2007 ACS Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research and the August Wilhelm von Hoffmann Lecture of the German Chemical Society in 2011 are a few of her many honors. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science.