Low temperature research brings together chemistry and physics researchers

Chemists and physicists carry out research in low temperatures. Discussion between the two fields will be enhanced at a conference held in Helsinki in August.

Kemia tietokoneella

Low temperature research is applied as a research tool in both chemistry and molecular physics. It enables extremely precise research of materials.

"In low temperature studies, disturbance factors are significantly reduced," says Markku Räsänen, Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Helsinki.

At temperatures of only a few kelvin degrees it is possible to see, for example, chemical compounds that are too weakly connected to be observed otherwise. As a tool of basic research, low temperature research helps in ways that traditional methods cannot. "With low temperature research we produce basic information that can be used, for example, in the field of green chemistry," says Räsänen.

The aim of green chemistry is to decrease the use and creation of substances harmful to the environment. At the moment, it is one of the focus areas of the chemistry research at the University of Helsinki.

In August, Räsänen will lead the 7th International Conference of Low Temperature Chemistry ICLTC-2008, gathering in Helsinki almost 100 chemists and physicists working in low temperatures. The purpose is to encourage proper discussion between researchers in chemistry and molecular physics.

This type of conference is already the second to be held in Finland – the first was held in Jyväskylä in 2002. The conference will have speakers from Europe and the United States, and also from Asia.

Text: Riikka Hemmilä
Photo: University of Helsinki

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy

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