Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2023
Las Vegas, Nevada (March 5-10)
Virtual (March 20-22); Time Zone: Pacific Time
Session K06: DCP Award Session
3:00 PM–6:00 PM,
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Room: Room 129
Sponsoring Unit: DCP
Chair: Rigoberto Hernandez, Johns Hopkins University
Abstract: K06.00003 : Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics Winner: Valeria Molinero*
4:12 PM–4:48 PM
(University of Utah)
(University of Utah)
The crystallization of water in clouds plays a key role in weather and climate through its effect on albedo and precipitation. The unassisted, homogeneous nucleation of ice occurs at temperatures lower than -32oC, which are only achieved in high altitude clouds. Ice formation in lower lying, warmer clouds is promoted by atmospheric aerosols. Although the majority of atmospheric aerosols are minerals, the most efficient at forming ice are of biological origin. Ice nucleating bacteria are the most potent ice-nucleating agents in the biosphere and the atmosphere, contributing to cloud glaciation and precipitation, and routinely used for the synthetic production of snow. These bacteria have proteins in their outer membrane that are able to nucleate ice at temperatures as high as -1oC. This presentation will discuss our quest to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which bacterial proteins and other potent ice nucleants promote water crystallization, what makes them so outstanding, and how we can use that knowledge to design synthetic nucleants for applications ranging from cryopreservation to cloud seeding.
*This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through MURI award FA9550-20-1-0351 and the National Science Foundation through award CHE-1305427.
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