Scientific Knowledge and Faith
Paul Davidovits, Boston College
Date: March 25, 2009
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Location: Boisi Center, 24 Quincy Road
How is scientific knowledge acquired? What is the role of faith in the process? Paul Davidovits will briefly look at the thoughts (beliefs) of Pierre Teilhard De Chardin, Albert Einstein and John Polkinghorne.
For the past 15 years in collaboration with a research group at Aerodyne Research Inc., Paul Davidovits and his graduate students have studied gas-liquid interaction for more than 30 gas phase species. The results of these studies provided basic information about the physical chemistry of gas-liquid interactions at the interface, including an understanding of how gas molecules enter liquids and how they react at the gas liquid interface. This work has also provided key parameters needed to understand the role of cloud and aerosol chemistry in atmospheric processes such as acid rain formation, dry acid deposition and ozone depletion. Recently Professor Davidovits and his collaborators have developed a novel aerosol mass spectrometer for field and laboratory aerosol studies. This apparatus is yielding new information about the morphology dependent chemistry of atmospheric aerosols.