Jan 222012
 
Authors: Erik Carman

Earlier this month, CSU chemistry professor Elliot Bernstein left for Japan on a scientific expedition to exchange knowledge and foster relations as part of a prestigious six-week fellowship.

Bernstein, who specializes in physical sciences, left for Japan on Jan. 6 after receiving word from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). As part of the Bridge Fellowship, Bernstein is currently in Kyoto studying photoelectron spectroscopy –– the interaction of light and matter –– with Professor T. Suzuki.

He will conduct similar research at different universities around the country in the weeks that follow.

“The Bridge Fellowship is given to scientists who have had a Senior Fellowship with the purpose of strengthening ties between Japanese and U.S. labs and between Japanese labs as well,” Bernstein said.

Upon returning, Bernstein stated, he will use similar experiments in his own lab here at CSU, to complete research under funding by the U.S. Army and Air Force.

According to CSU chemistry professor Nancy Levinger, Bernstein’s long-time friend and colleague, it’s not hard to see why the military would be interested in his work, including explosive/reactive molecular research.

“In other words, how to make better explosive molecules,” Levinger stated.

Levinger described her colleague as a brilliant, independent-minded individual who is very focused on his research.

Another colleague of Bernstein, Professor Ellen Fisher, who also serves as head of the chemistry department, said Bernstein’s research is at the head of its kind.

“Professor Bernstein has made significant contributions to the field of physical chemistry,” Fisher said. “He is a world-renown leader in the field of spectroscopy of gas-phase clusters.”

Fisher also pointed out that Bernstein has had a long career here at CSU, in which he has held several chair positions, including the Associate Department Chair from 1989-1999.

But with all physical chemistry aside, Bernstein said he is currently enjoying his time abroad.

“Japan is a very friendly country and the people are very warm, polite and helpful,” he said.

Along with giving four lectures at different universities around Japan, Bernstein said he plans to visit several castles, palaces and temples while traveling the country. He’s also been enjoying many exotic aspects of Japan, including the cuisine.

He’s not without some longing for a few western comforts, however.

“When we return I will be grateful for a simple American meat and potatoes meal.”

Collegian writer Erik Carman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 2:15 pm

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