|Molecular electric fields|
|Electric fields in proteins|
|High resolution spectroscopy|
The foundation of chemistry are interactions between charged particles. Positively charged atomic nuclei arrange to form molecules as a result of a cloud of negatively charged electrons that are holding them in place. Interactions between individual molecules occur as a result of complex electric fields with both static and dynamic components that have their origin in the distribution of individual charges inside the molecules.
These interactions lead to all known physical and chemical properties of a molecular species, from simple intermolecular attraction and repulsion (which determine the physical state, density, and mechanical properties) to chemical interactions involving the making and breaking of bonds. Knowledge about molecular electric fields, however, has been difficult to obtain experimentally. In collaboration with the Geissinger Lab, we are developing new methods that allow the direct measurement of molecular electric fields in a very important class of biological molecules: proteins.