field of molecular sciences is witnessing a revolution. From elementary
reaction dynamics to protein folding, new physical tools are being
exploited to study molecular structure and dynamics in chemistry
and biology. The great strides made in both spatial and temporal
resolution, down to the atomic scale, provide new opportunities
to elucidate the nature of elementary processes in complex molecular
systems and to relate dynamics and structures to function in real
systems at the most fundamental level. To address the complexity
of real systems, it is essential to draw upon different scientific
sub-disciplines and to exploit synergies between them.
The goal of the Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (LMS) is to conduct
multidisciplinary research on fundamental processes in complex molecular
systems with atomic resolution. Collaborations have been established
to pursue this objective in a wide range of complex systems using
experimental, theoretical, and computational approaches. These efforts
draw upon the active participation of research groups from physics,
chemistry, and biology.
The Laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art resources for ultrafast
studies, including lasers, x-ray diffraction, electron diffraction,
high-speed computing, and biochemistry.
The activities encompass areas such as the development of 4-D time-resolved
diffraction techniques for resolving structural changes in space
and time; studies of nanometer-scale systems, clusters, and interfaces;
and studies of electron transport in DNA, molecular recognition
by proteins, and correlation of biological dynamics with function.
Theoretical studies are an important part of the research at LMS.
LMS was founded at Caltech in 1996. We are grateful to the National
Science Foundation for their generous support, which, along with
other resources, has made it possible to bring together scientists
and students from around the world. We at LMS welcome new participation
in the exciting research endeavors at the interface of chemistry,
physics, and biological sciences, some of which are highlighted
in the following pages.