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CCB Seminar for Dr. Henrik Larsson

June 21, 2021 - 9:00am

The School of Natural Sciences


Molecules in quantum motion

Henrik R. Larsson, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

California Institute of Technology


Monday, June 21st, 2021


To Zoom in, please use this link:



In order to fully understand the nature of chemical reactions and molecular properties, we need to simulate both the electronic and vibrational motion quantum mechanically. However, simulations of quantum many-body systems, such as molecules, scale exponentially with system size. I will explain how to tame this ‘curse of dimensionality’ by combining methods from the traditionally disjoint fields of electronic structure and nuclear dynamics. This combination has enabled the simulation of complex systems with unprecedented accuracy and speed. I will demonstrate how these methods make it possible to solve a diverse set of problems, ranging from entangled vibrational motion in floppy, protonated water clusters to complex bonding situations in strongly correlated transition-metal clusters. I will show how simulations of these systems provide new insight into complex experimental results.



Henrik is a postdoctoral scholar in the group of Garnet Chan at California Institute of Technology. His research focuses on developing and utilizing tools for exploring and controlling quantum effects in molecular systems. In particular, he is interested in a holistic quantum understanding of electrons, nuclei, and their interactions. He focuses both on structural and dynamical properties of molecules, and on strong light-matter interactions. Henrik studied Chemistry in Kiel (Germany) and in Lund (Sweden). He received his doctorate in Theoretical Chemistry working in the groups of Bernd Hartke (Kiel) and David Tannor (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel).


For more information, please contact:

Prof. Anne Kelley at