Tedori-Callinan Lecture Series: 2013
"Quantum Mechanics and the Future of the Planet"
Presented by: Emily A. Carter
Founding Director, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment
Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Applied and Computational Mathematics
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Heilmeier Hall, Towne Building Room 100
To preserve the planet for future generations, we must make major
science and engineering breakthroughs in the way we harvest, store,
transmit, and use energy. Dr. Carter’s research contributes to this
effort by developing fast yet accurate quantum mechanics simulation
methods to investigate materials and phenomena related to sustainable
energy. Current projects include evaluating new materials for
photovoltaics and photo-catalytic electrodes to convert sunlight into
electricity and fuels, quantifying biofuel combustion kinetics,
optimizing ion and electron transport in solid oxide fuel cells,
evaluating mechanical properties of lightweight alloys for
fuel-efficient vehicles, and investigating liquid lithium for fusion
reactor walls. The latter two projects will be the focus of this talk.
They exploit a promising quantum technique - orbital-free density
functional theory (OFDFT) - that directly evaluates electron
distributions. This method, orders of magnitude faster than standard
DFT, can be used to study many thousands of atoms with quantum
mechanics. Consequently, OFDFT can explicitly study, e.g., structure and
motion of dislocations, and hence evaluate the origins of plasticity in
metals from first principles. Recent advances in both theory and
applications will be discussed.
Emily Carter is the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University. She is the founding director of Princeton's Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. Her current research focuses on enabling discovery and design of molecules and materials for sustainable energy.
Dr. Carter received her B.S. from UC Berkeley in 1982 and her Ph.D. from Caltech in 1987. After postdoctoral work at U. Colorado, Boulder, she spent 16 years on the faculty of UCLA as Professor of Chemistry and later of Materials Science and Engineering. She moved to Princeton in 2004.
The author of over 270 publications, Dr. Carter has delivered more than 430 invited lectures and serves on numerous international advisory boards spanning a wide range of disciplines. Her scholarly work has been recognized by numerous awards and honors, including the ACS Award for Computers in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research; election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science; the August Wilhelm von Hoffmann Lecture of the German Chemical Society; and a Docteur Honoris Causa from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.