Youth scientific summer school "Modern methods of quantum chemistry in applications" ended its work at Samara National Research University. Its every participant had the opportunity to take part in a serious scientific research, master his/her practical skills and learn lot of new things from the leading Russian and foreign specialists.
In the 3d year of its existence school "Modern methods of quantum chemistry in applications" attracted more than 50 students, postgraduate students, researchers and lecturers from Russia and abroad. Its irreplaceable leader and inspirer is Prof. of the International University of Florida, Alexandre Mebel.
In the course of the school young researchers could learn modern methods of quantum physics and chemistry in practice. The key feature of the summer scientific school is balance between practical and theoretical preparation. The high level of both of them was provided by the best specialists in quantum physics and chemistry – Alexandre Mebel, Prof. of Emory University in Atlanta Michael Heaven, Prof. of the University of Hawaii Ralf Kaiser, Prof. of Samara University Valeriy Azyazov and others.
"Lectures were read not only by me, but by Michael Heaven and Ralf Kaiser as well. Our school is a mix of practical work and theory. Students are carrying experiments in the laboratory, are working with laser settings. This is the advantage of this format, as Americans put it, a "hands on" approach. This means that young people not only listen to the lectures on quantum mechanics, but make something with their own hands, - Alexandre Mebel said. – In our school freshmen are learning. And if at the beginning of studies they feel lack of knowledge, then gradually they compensate for the gaps".
The programme of the third summer school was oriented to the application of experimental and theoretical methods of physical chemistry to combustion reactions. This means that in the course of study the students acquired research methods of elementary energy exchange and chemical processes with the use of impulse laser equipment. And with the help of modern methods of quantum chemistry they studied the mechanisms of formation and oxidation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in combustion zones and found kinetic constants of the processes with participation of the active forms of oxygen.
Let it be reminded that in September 2016 Samara University became the winner of the contest organized by the government of the RF for receiving of megagrants on theme "Development of physically grounded combustion models" in the frame of governmental support of scientific research. According to the programme of megagrant till 2019 the scholars are going to create an experimental setting for research of combustion reactions. That is why scientific summer school of Alexandre Mebel this year was devoted to this theme.
"As my main interest is mechanisms of combustion reactions, I try to choose for every participant of the school a task from this sphere. The task that could be solved in a short period of time and thus, a student could understand the corresponding mechanism. In addition to this I always choose several articles in English so that there is a connection between practical classes and the literature which the students of the school should read", - Alexandre Mebel describes the process of education.
In the combustion time complex chemical and energy exchange processes happen, they include many elementary reactions. To determine the content and structure of the units participating in reactions complex experimental settings and modern methods of quantum chemistry are used. Analysis of combustion processes is important in projecting of new effective energy settings. It should be added that in the work of the scientific school not only experimental settings of Samara University, but calculation resources of International University of Florida (Miami, USA), Emory University (Atlanta, USA) and the University of Hawaii (Honolulu, USA) were used.
"Practical work of the school students is a part of a big research which I am supervising. If a person makes a sound contribution into it, then he/she becomes a co-author of the research. Why not? For example, two years ago an article by Andrey Pershin, student of Samara University, was published in one prestigious journal ("Journal of Chemical Physics") on the theme of the research. An article by Anna Gildina, employee of scientific and research laboratory "Physics and Chemistry of Combustion", was published in another prestigious journal – "Combustion and Flame". As a minimum result, research articles by two more people should be issued as a result of the scientific summer school", - Alexandre Mebel gave an advantage of such a type of work.
Being a part of a big scientific research is an advantage to everyone – both students and researchers. The first ones are completely involved in a true research activity, the second ones get important help from motivated students. In essence the scientific summer school is a good springboard into a serious scientific life.
Dmitrii Gorokhov (Youth Information Agency "Samara University")
Photo: Ekaterina Vinogradova (Photo club "Illuminator")