Ultrafine Aerosols: The Good, the Bad, and the Mysterious
Breakfast Lecture Series
Jim Smith, Department of Chemistry
March 24, 2020 I UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom D
Breakfast 7:30 am I Lecture 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Ultrafine aerosols are nanometer-sized particles suspended in air. While they comprise a miniscule fraction of the mass of all airborne particles, they can have an impact on human health and the Earth’s climate that is sometimes good, sometimes bad, and at times completely mysterious. Professor Jim Smith has collected and studied air samples from all over the world to shed light on these impacts. His main tool is the TDCIMS – an instrument that can obtain the “fingerprint” of the chemicals present in ultrafine particles. In this talk, Professor Smith will share what TDCIMS measurements tell us about the good role that ultrafine particles play in the Earth’s climate system, the bad effects of ultrafine particles when they are inhaled from hookah pipes, and the mysterious appearance of nanometer-sized “fungal shrapnel” in the Great Plains of Oklahoma
Professor Jim Smith is a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at UCI. His research interests focus on understanding and quantifying the mechanisms of atmospheric nanoparticle formation and growth through laboratory and field measurements. He is the developer of the Thermal Desorption Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (TDCIMS), an instrument that occupies a unique niche in the field as the as the only one capable of characterizing the molecular composition of particles with diameters as small as 6 nm. Prof. Smith received his B.S. in physics at Harvey Mudd College and his Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. He is the recipient of the 2009 Kenneth T. Whitby Award, given annually by the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) for outstanding technical contributions to aerosol science and technology by a young scientist, and the 2017 Benjamin Y. H. Liu Award from AAAR for outstanding contributions to aerosol instrumentation and experimental techniques.