Pablo Debenedetti delivers Gubbins Lectures on the profound oddities of water

Friday, Mar 15, 2019
by Scott Lyon

Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering Pablo Debenedetti will deliver the 2019 Keith E. Gubbins Lectures at North Carolina State University. The lectures, a two-part series that connects deep inquiry to its profound implications for technology, will focus on the strange behavior of water in extreme states.

The first lecture will consider water molecules confined to tiny spaces, where evaporation rates shift dramatically with small changes in the environment. Debenedetti, Dean for Research and the Class of 1950 Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, will show the link between his numerical approaches and the real-world behavior of proteins.

The second lecture will look at the special case of "supercooled" water — water that remains liquid at temperatures far below its freezing point — and the ongoing attempt to reconcile the limits of experimental observation with computer simulations. He will also touch on the recent resolution of a long-standing debate over this subject and make the case for greater transparency in research.

The Gubbins Lecture Series, created in 2015, aims to bring distinguished lecturers to the NC State campus for a three-day period so that students can engage meaningfully with the visiting researcher. Debenedetti will deliver his lectures on March 18 and 19, 2019.