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Chapter 333: Chemistry Needs My Model!
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Brother Qian’s work efficiency was very high.
On the second day that Yang Xu began working, Lu Zhou received an email from the Jinling Inst.i.tute of Computational Materials. Attached was an experimental report that summarized all of the experimental data collected during this time.
Lu Zhou could continue to perfect his theory using this data.
He could finally start the next step.
The next morning, Lu Zhou called Jerick into his office and asked, “I remember that you told me you wanted to research computational materials. Are you ready for it?”
Jerick immediately said with excitement, “Of course! Professor, I am ready!”
Jerick finished his undergraduate degree at the Ma.s.sachusetts Inst.i.tute of Technology, and he majored in both applied mathematics and applied chemistry. He was the only student under Lu Zhou that had degrees in both mathematics and chemistry.
Wei Wen sat next to them at the desk while looking at them with jealousy.
Jerick, who was in the same cohort as himself, already chose a research direction.
However, it had been half a year, but Wei Wen hadn’t been involved in any kind of research.
Lu Zhou could sense Wei Wen’s jealousy so he said, “You don’t have to envy him. If you want to research mathematical physics, you have to spend more time and effort than him.”
Mathematical physics and computational chemistry were different; the latter was experimental based and tried to explain phenomena with new theories, while the former went beyond experiments and entered the unknown field.
The effort needed to break into a newly emerging field versus a mature field was completely different.
Wei Wen obviously knew this, so he was only a little jealous.
He nodded and said, “Okay.”
Jerick raised his hand and asked, “Professor, what do you need me to do?”
Lu Zhou didn’t answer this question directly. Instead, he smiled as he replied, “This is a good question, come somewhere with me. You’ll know when you get there.”
Any research began with reading theses.
Whether it was theoretical research or applied research.
Lu Zhou didn’t rush to start calculations after receiving the experiment data. Instead, he buried his head in the library.
Lu Zhou planned to do this work by himself, but now he had two helpers. One was Jerick who was interested in computational materials, and the other was a postdoc in computational materials.
Jerick was sitting next to Lu Zhou as he read a piece of literature when he suddenly asked, “Professor, how did you come up with the idea of using hollow carbon spheres to solve the shuttle effect?”
Lu Zhou casually read the doc.u.ments as he replied, “Scientific intuition? And inspiration. Actually, there is no correct thinking when it comes to decisions like this, only a relatively appropriate idea.”
“Relatively appropriate idea…” Jerick looked at the doc.u.ments in his hand and nodded.
With the help of the two a.s.sistants, researching theses didn’t take too long.
Reading all of the relevant doc.u.ments only took a week.
But the work after that wasn’t so easy.
Lu Zhou had to do the computing part himself.
The last day of March, Lu Zhou didn’t get to his office at the Inst.i.tute for Advanced Study. After he got out of bed, he walked into the study room next to his bedroom.
He sat in his tiny room and made himself a cup of coffee. He then opened the drawer and took out a pen.
Lu Zhou wrote down a line of words on a blank page.
[Theoretical Model Of Electrochemical Interface Structure]
Electrochemical interface theory was an important pillar of modern electrochemistry and one of the cla.s.sical problems in theoretical chemistry. It was like the twin prime guess in mathematics, where it occupied a central position in a certain type of problem.
The concept could be traced back to the early 1980s when the interface molecular model was proposed.
Since then, the cla.s.sical concept of electrochemical interfaces had been transforming into the modern concept of condensed matter physics.
Due to the development of technology, simulations such as the molecular dynamics simulation, Monte Carlo simulation, and other simulation methods were born. This made the theoretical model of the electrochemical interface more applicable.
Even then, no one could provide a theoretical model that could reasonably explain the various microscopic electrochemical processes occurring on the interface.
How to explain the differential capacitance curve of a polycrystalline metal electrode?
How to explain the origin of the capacitance peak in the differential capacitance curve of the Hg electrode in the electrolyte solution of different solvents?
Although these sounded like simple problems, they had never been answered before.
Answering these questions would mean at least two or three n.o.bel Prize in Chemistry. The n.o.bel Committee paid more attention to theory than application.
After all, if someone was able to come up with an answer to these questions, even if it wouldn’t affect a company’s bank account, it would greatly impact civilization. It was more important than the invention of the modified PDMS.
Even Lu Zhou couldn’t solve every single problem.
However, the Group Structure Method was based on additive number theory.
If he could use mathematical properties to describe the interface properties, then based on this, he could establish a theoretical model of the electrochemical interface structure. He could build a theoretical tool that could answer all of these questions!
Lu Zhou looked at the thesis t.i.tle on the page before he closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
The next time he opened his eyes, there was an unprecedented concentration in his mind.
His past six months of work was paving the road for this.
He had collected a large amount of data for this.
And right now, he just had to finish the job!
As time went by, the paper bin in the corner of the study room gradually piled up.
Whenever Lu Zhou was tired, he would go to sleep in his bedroom. After he woke up, he would come back to his study room and continue to think.
Other than for his meals, he didn’t even go downstairs.
He never even went outside the house.
Lu Zhou used countless amounts of pen and paper. He wrote down the last equation on the A4 paper and suddenly stopped.
Lu Zhou sat there for about an hour or so before he scratched his head and threw the pen away.
He paced back and forth in his study room while repeating the same sentence.
“Chemistry needs my theoretical model…”
Suddenly, Lu Zhou remembered something, and his eyes lit up.
He stopped walking and looked at the mountain of papers.
“I need a super…
“I need a supercomputer for computational chemistry!”