Frases de David W. Oxtoby
David W. Oxtoby
Data de nascimento: 17. Outubro 1951
David William Oxtoby is an American academic who served as the ninth president of Pomona College. He held the position from July 1, 2003 to July 1, 2017. A theoretical chemist, he received his bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics at Harvard University and his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1975 from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to his appointment at Pomona College, he was the Dean of the Physical Sciences Division at the University of Chicago.
As a research chemist, Oxtoby is author or co-author of more than 165 scientific articles on subjects such as light scattering, chemical reaction dynamics and phase transitions. He has been invited as a guest lecturer at conferences and institutions around the globe and served as visiting professor at the University of Paris, the University of Bristol, and the University of Sydney. He also co-authored two popular textbooks in chemistry: Principles of Modern Chemistry and Chemistry: Science of Change. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Alexander von Humboldt, Camille and Henry Dreyfus, Alfred P. Sloan, Danforth and National Science foundations.
He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2012, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In February, 2016, he announced his intention to step down as president in June, 2017. G. Gabrielle Starr officially succeeded him on July 1, 2017.
Citações David W. Oxtoby
„The central idea of quantum theory is that energy, like matter, is not continuous but it exists only in discrete packets. Discreteness of matter and charge on the microscopic scale seems entirely reasonable and familiar to us, based on the modern picture of atomic structure. But, the idea that energy also exists only in discrete chunks is contrary to our experience of the macroscopic world. The motions of a soccer ball rolling up and down the sides of a gully involve arbitrary amounts of kinetic and potential energy; nothing in ordinary human experience suggests that the energy of a system should change abruptly by “jumps.” Understanding quantum mechanics requires that we develop a new kind of physical intuition, based on the results of experiments that are impossible to understand using classical mechanics. These results are completely divorced from ordinary human experience in the macroscopic world around us, and our physical intuition from the macroscopic world cannot be transferred to the quantum domain. We must resist the urge to interpret these quantum results in terms of ordinary experience.“
„Upon encountering a new topic, try this: imagine that you are the first person ever to see the laboratory results on which it is based. Imagine that you must construct the new concepts and explanations to interpret these results, and that you will present and defend your conclusions before the scientific community. Be suspicious. Cross-check everything. Demand independent confirmations. Always remain, with Boyle, the “skeptical chemist.”“
„Quantum mechanics explains the physical stability of the atom by predicting its allowed discrete energy levels and defining the wave functions (also called atomic orbitals) associated with each energy level. The orbitals determine the probability density for finding the electrons at particular locations in the atom when the electrons are in a specific quantum state.“
„The definite mass ratios involved in reactions suggested a convenient method for counting the number of atoms of each element participating in the reaction. These results, summarized as the laws of chemical combination, provided overwhelming, if indirect, evidence for the existence of atoms and molecules.“
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