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Leone wins Polanyi Medal

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Steven Leone
Steven Leone

June 23, 2009

Chemistry professor Steven Leone has won the Royal Society of Chemistry's Polanyi Medal and will deliver the associated lecture at the 21st International Symposium on Gas Kinetics, to be held at the University of Leuven, Belgium, July 18—23, 2010.

The Polanyi Medal is awarded every two years. The recipient is chosen by the Committee of the Gas Kinetics Group of the Faraday Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and is someone who has made outstanding contributions to the field.

The Polanyi medal is named after Professor Michael Polanyi, 1891—1976, whose research helped to define the modern subject of gas kinetics and reaction dynamics. A native of Hungary, Polanyi received his Ph.D. from Budapest University in 1917, on the subject of thermodynamics of adsorption. After working in Berlin, Polanyi emigrated to England in 1933 to become Professor of Physical Chemistry at Manchester University, a position he held until 1948 when he moved to philosophy and became Professor of Social Science, also at Manchester.

Professor Leone's research interests include ultrafast laser molecular dynamics and the chemical dynamics of molecules, nanoparticles, and clusters. His lab also investigates nanostructured materials using scanning probe microscopes.

In the Leone lab, the study of molecular photodissociation by soft x-ray laser techniques has opened the way to analyze the simple breaking of a molecular bond in greater detail. Leone's research group also investigates the ultralow temperature gas phase kinetics for the atmospheres of Titan and Saturn.

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