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Department of Chemistry

Peter Ham is the 2018 Ellis R. Lippincott Award Recipient

Peter Hamm has been named the 2018 Ellis R. Lippincott Award recipient, by the Optical Society (OSA), Coblentz Society and Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS). He is cited for seminal contributions to developing multidimensional infrared, Raman and Terahertz spectroscopy and pioneering studies of protein and hydrogen bonding dynamics in molecular liquids.


To honor Ellis R. Lippincott’s unique contributions to the field of vibrational spectroscopy, the three societies established the Lippincott Award in 1975. It is presented to a researcher who has made significant contributions to vibrational spectroscopy as judged by their influence on other scientists.

The focus of Hamm’s research is to establish novel spectroscopic methods in the infrared and THz spectral range, which resolve transient structures of molecular systems and the energy flow through them on very fast timescales. A wide variety of questions are addressed including complex problems such as protein folding and allosteric communication in proteins, photocatalytic water splitting and elementary structural processes in liquids like water.

Dr. Hamm’s work in ultrafast molecular dynamics has made significant contributions to finding solutions to some of the world’s most relevant scientific challenges. For example, the dynamics of functional biomolecular processes and related structure changes,” says Award Committee Chair, Thomas Elsaesser, Max Born Institute, Germany.

“Dr. Hamm has taken some of the most powerful tools of modern spectroscopy to new levels. His discoveries using these tools promise new understanding of molecules with the potential impact for significant benefits for humankind,” says OSA President Ian Walmsley, who is Hooke Professor of Experimental Physics at University of Oxford, U.K.

Press Release of the OSA