Chemical physics


Chemical physics is concerned with the application of the concepts and theories of physics to the analysis of chemical systems and their physical behaviour. While also at the interface between physics and chemistry, it is distinct from physical chemistry.


Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Ejecting electrons from negative ions using light can create structures that very closely resemble the transition states of bimolecular reactions. Now, using this technique, trapped quantum states, or 'resonances', have been observed in a seven-atom reaction, and theory has been shown to be up to the task of capturing such complex phenomena.

    • Robert E. Continetti
    Nature Chemistry 9, 931–932
  • News and Views |

    Helium, the 'most noble' of the noble gases, had only been coaxed into forming molecular ions or van der Waals compounds. It has now been seen in a stable solid compound, Na2He, under high pressure.

    • Maosheng Miao
    Nature Chemistry 9, 409–410
  • News and Views |

    The discovery of intermediate high-spin multiexciton states with surprisingly long lifetimes provides new opportunities for engineering singlet fission, which may also provide an intriguing route to quantum information and spintronic applications.

    • Michael R. Wasielewski
    Nature Physics 13, 114–115
  • News and Views |

    The critical step in water splitting is the formation of a peroxo bond; the mechanism, thought to involve oxyl radical formation, remains elusive. Now, experiments reveal a distinct bond vibration directly connected to an oxyl radical that is simultaneously coupled to both the semiconductor electronic states and the motion of the surrounding water.

    • Heather Vanselous
    •  & Poul B. Petersen
    Nature Chemistry 8, 527–528
  • News and Views |

    A fundamental challenge in systems chemistry is to engineer the emergence of complex behaviour. The collective structures of metal cyanide chains have now been interpreted in the same manner as the myriad of magnetic phases displayed by frustrated spin systems, highlighting a symbiotic approach between systems chemistry and magnetism.

    • Lucy Clark
    •  & Philip Lightfoot
    Nature Chemistry 8, 402–404