NIST National Research Council postdoctoral fellow Dr. Marissa Weichman recently won the poster prize at the Dynamics of Molecular Collisions conference in Big Sky, Montana.
Weichman works with buckyballs, "molecular soccer balls" made up of 60 carbon atoms. They're huge, for a molecule, but they still play by quantum mechanics' rules. Using frequency comb spectroscopy Weichman and her team can observe buckyballs' rotational and vibrational quantum states to learn when they keep to the rules and when they break them.
"This is the first time anyone has done these kind of quantum-state-resolved measurements for a molecule that is either this large or this symmetric," Weichman explained.
Weichman won 200 dollars as prize money for the competition. Congratulations to Weichman and the Ye group!