Daniel M. Neumark

University of California, Berkeley

Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Membership Type: Member (elected 2015)


Daniel Neumark is a physical chemist interested in fundamental chemical reaction dynamics, the evolution of the properties of matter with size, and ultrafast dynamics in the femtosecond and attosecond regimes. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1955. He graduated from Harvard University in 1977 and received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1984. After spending two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Colorado in Boulder, he joined the Berkeley Chemistry Department as an Assistant Professor in 1986 and has been there ever since. He was Director of the Chemical Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 2000-2010 and Chair of the Chemistry Department at Berkeley from 2010-2014. He has received the Bomem-Michelson Award, the Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics from the American Chemical Society, the William Meggers Award from the Optical Society of American, the Herbert Broida Prize from the American Physical Society, and the Chemical Dynamics Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2015.

Research Interests

Daniel Neumark has developed novel spectroscopic and time-resolved experiments to investigate transition states, size-selected clusters, electron hydration in clusters and liquids, and electron-nucleobase interactions. He pioneered the transition state spectroscopy of benchmark chemical reactions using negative ion photoelectron spectroscopy, in which laser photodetaches a stable negative ion such as FH2ˉ to access and characterize the transition state of the F+ H2 reaction. In order to resolve fundamental issues regarding the dynamics of hydrated electrons, he performed negative ion time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy, a technique developed in his laboratory, on water cluster anions (H2O)n- comprising up to 200 water molecules, and complementary time-resolved experiments on hydrated electrons in liquid water jets. In collaboration with his colleague Stephen Leone, he has initiated an experimental program in which soft x-ray femtosecond and attosecond pulses probe dynamics in largely unexplored energy regimes with temporal resolution sufficient to resolve sub-femtosecond electron dynamics in atoms, molecules, clusters, and solids.

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