Physical Science Research Lab


Physical Science Research Lab

Students in this lab will have the opportunity to utilize advanced equipment extensively, gaining experience that will enable to them to be competitive for employment or for advanced studies in Chemistry.  The wide range of samples produced by the RDP groups provide a rich opportunity for students to learn the skill of collaboration and sample preparations. For example, students interested in the chemical side of biochemistry can join Dr. Langley’s group and work on a collaborative project involving the separations of pigments from cyanobacteria. This gives students the chance to learn the chemical principles behind the separation, while being able to work in a biochemistry-related project.


Dr. Langley’s research is quite broad. One area of emphasis is the development of new chemistry laboratory activities for General, Analytical, and Physical Chemistry laboratories. Other areas include the use chemical computational methods and programs to investigate the structure and reactivity of molecules and building equipment for use in current chemical laboratories. One of the underlying principles of Dr. Langley’s research is the idea of exploration. We often start with a given “boring” topic, but by asking questions find very interesting answers that open up a whole new area for exploration. One of our recent presentations at the American Chemical Society National meeting grew out of questions being asked as we were optimizing another lab.


Dr. Smith’s work focuses on the development of organic and inorganic teaching labs, so that the students are learning more than just how to follow recipes. Students in Dr. Smith’s laboratory will gain wet lab experience and be able to utilize advanced methodology including FTIR, NMR, mass spectrometry, X-Ray crystallography, and SEM. This is a significant opportunity for undergraduate students to experience multiple instruments. The NMR is among the most powerful of all chemical analysis methodologies being used for characterizing the structure of molecules from very simple to more complex. Most students never have the occasion to work on one, but students in Dr. Smith’s group will have the opportunity to use the NMR to characterize molecules developed in his research projects or on samples from the classroom.

Affiliated Investigators: Click on investigators name to read bio

Charley Langley                             [email protected]

Ron Smith                                       [email protected]

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