Campus: CSU, Chico -- September 9, 1999

Chemistry Department Receives Grant for New Instrument

The California State University, Chico chemistry department received a $95,000 federal grant Aug. 30 that will allow students and teachers to intensify lab experiments while simulating real world environments.

The National Science Foundation grant, titled "Enhancing Undergraduate Chemistry Education with FT-NMR Spectroscopy," has allowed the University to purchase a high field superconducting nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer that will be used in chemistry labs.

CSU, Chico was awarded one of 265 awards, from among 1,050 proposals nationwide. The NSF grant is being matched by the University to purchase the $200,000 equipment.

Chemists use spectroscopy, the utilization of electromagnetic radiation, to study matter. The new spectrometer is five times more powerful than the department's previous instrument, obtained in 1984.

With the new equipment the chemistry department will be able to redesign its classroom lab activites. Currently, each of the four chemistry labs analytical, organic, inorganic and physical are separate and each class performs their own experiments.

"With this instrument we are going to integrate all labs so there is no distinction. We will be able to overlap experiments and simulate the way the world is now," said David Ball, professor of inorganic chemistry. "Barriers in the industry are falling left and right. We are going to give students a real-life picture with this instrument."

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