Quantum Mechanics of Hydrogen Storage & Isotope Separation
Last Friday, Dr. Stephen Fitzgerald, Professor of Physics, Oberlin College, visited our Physics Seminar 400 to present his research on hydrogen storage and isotope separation to faculty and students.
According to Dr. Fitzgerald, the main obstacle to developing hydrogen-powered cars is the onboard storage of hydrogen (a big balloon just doesn’t work). Much research is thus aimed at developing nano-porous materials to act as a “hydrogen sponge”. Our contribution focuses on a novel application of infrared spectroscopy to probe the behavior of the trapped hydrogen.
This work reveals some fascinating quantum behavior and an unexpected method for separating out the rare hydrogen isotopes. You never know where research will lead.