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Professor Tom Markland focuses on problems at the interface of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics, with applications ranging from chemistry and biology to geology and materials science. Markland Group research frequently explores theories of hydrogen bonding, the interplay between structure and dynamics, systems with multiple time and length-scales, and quantum mechanical effects. Particular current interests include proton and electron transfer in materials and enzymatic systems, atmospheric isotope separation, and the control of catalytic chemical reactivity in heterogeneous environments.Thomas E. Markland studied chemistry at Balliol College, University of Oxford (MChem 2006), where as a Brackenbury Scholar he performed thesis work in the area of non-adiabatic dynamics. He continued at Oxford (D.Phil. 2009), working in quantum dynamics under the supervision of Professor David Manolopoulos. Together, the two developed an approach to allow quantum effects of nuclei to be included in condensed phase simulation at near classical computational cost, as well as elucidating isotope effects observed in liquids. Next, during postdoctoral work with Bruce Berne at Columbia University, Professor Markland focused on structure and dynamics in classical and quantum biophysical systems. He moved to Stanford in 2011 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2018. He has received recognition in a number of awards, including a Research Corporation Cottrell Scholarship, Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Terman Fellowship, Hellman Faculty Scholarship, the ACS OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, the NSF CAREER award, the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award, the H&S Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Kavli Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lectureship, and the ACS Early Career Award in Theoretical Chemistry.Research in the Markland Group lies in the application and development of theoretical methods to model condensed phase systems, with a particular emphasis on the role of quantum mechanical effects. Treatment of these problems requires a range of theoretical approaches as well as molecular mechanics and ab initio simulations. The group is particularly interested in developing and applying methods based on the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics to include quantum fluctuations such as zero-point energy and tunneling in the dynamics of reactive condensed phase systems. The group has also developed methods to treat non-equilibrium excited state dynamics by exploiting the combination of quantum-classical theory and quantum master equation approaches.Work in the Markland Group has already provided insights into several systems, including reactions in liquids and enzymes, and the quantum liquid–glass transition. Group members have also introduced methods to perform path integral calculations at near classical computational cost, expanding the ability to treat large-scale condensed phase systems.Please visit the Markland Group website to learn more.
Our research centers on problems at the interface of quantum and statistical mechanics. Particular themes that occur frequently in our research are hydrogen bonding, the interplay between structure and dynamics, systems with multiple time and length-scales and quantum mechanical effects. The applications of our methods are diverse, ranging from chemistry to biology to geology and materials science. Particular current interests include proton and electron transfer in fuel cells and enzymatic systems, atmospheric isotope separation and the control of catalytic chemical reactivity using electric fields.Treatment of these problems requires a range of analytic techniques as well as molecular mechanics and ab initio simulations. We are particularly interested in developing and applying methods based on the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics to include quantum fluctuations such as zero-point energy and tunneling in the dynamics of liquids and glasses. This formalism, in which a quantum mechanical particle is mapped onto a classical "ring polymer," provides an accurate and physically insightful way to calculate reaction rates, diffusion coefficients and spectra in systems containing light atoms. Our work has already provided intriguing insights in systems ranging from diffusion controlled reactions in liquids to the quantum liquid-glass transition as well as introducing methods to perform path integral calculations at near classical computational cost, expanding our ability to treat large-scale condensed phase systems.