Awarded an ERC

News item                                                                                                                    May 2016

Ian Sims, Professor of Physics at the University of Rennes 1 and researcher in the Molecular Physics Department of the Institute of Physics Rennes (IPR, CNRS-UR1 Joint Research Unit 6251) has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant to commence later this year. These highly competitive grants are, according to the ERC’s website (https://erc.europa.eu/funding-and-grants/fundIAN SIMS crédits photo IPR 031ing-schemes/advanced-grants) “…designed to allow outstanding research leaders of any nationality and any age to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects in Europe. The scheme targets researchers who have already established themselves as top independent research leaders.” This is the second Advanced Grant for the IPR (and the University) after that awarded in 2013 to Tanguy Rouxel.

The title of Ian Sims’ project, “CRESUCHIRP – Ultrasensitive Chirped-Pulse Fourier Transform mm-Wave Detection of Transient Species in Uniform Supersonic Flows for Reaction Kinetics Studies under Extreme Conditions” gives little away to the uninitiated. According to Professor Sims “this new grant will enable us to build on our expertise in re-creating extreme conditions similar to those reigning in interstellar space, and combine these with a new technique recently developed in collaboration with two US groups (at MIT and Wayne State University, Detroit), to provide fundamental information on the identity of the products of chemical reactions.”

The new microwave method leverages recent advances in high-speed electronics developed for the telecoms industry, combining them with the super-cold CRESU (Cinétique de Réaction en Ecoulement Supersonique Uniforme or Reaction Kinetics in Uniform Supersonic Flow) environment developed by members of the IPR in a way that drastically enhances the sensitivity of the technique. This will enable its application to a wide range of fundamental problems in chemical physics. For example, the precise identity of the products of even rather simple chemical reactions in the gas phase remains unknown in the majority of cases, and yet this information is vital in modeling gaseous environments such as flames, internal combustion engines, planetary atmospheres, and interstellar clouds which are the birthplace of stars.

 Contact :
Ian SIMS, professeur Dépt Physique Moléculaire, IPR
Lien : https://ipr.univ-rennes1.fr /membre?display_who=42&lang=en

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