Joshua B. Halpern


Professor of Chemistry
Physical Chemistry

    B.S. 1966, The Johns Hopkins University
    Ph.D. 1972, Brown University
    Office: LC 6
    Phone: 202-806-6883
    Fax: 202-806-5442
    jhalpern at howard dot edu

Chemical Physics and Kinetics: Photochemistry, kinetics and dynamics of small molecules and radicals in the gas phase.

Materials Science:  Nitride nanowires: growth and properties.  Pulsed laser desorption

Above - An old picture, but a good one....(~1975)

    Small molecules and free radicals are simple systems, about whose chemistry we can ask complicated and detailed questions. Laser spectroscopies provide tools with which these questions can be answered. Such studies are central to understanding of such diverse processes as combustion, atmospheric chemistry and the chemistry of astronomical objects.

    My group at Howard includes Dr. Askar Fahr, who has recently joined us from the National Institutes of Standards and Technology.  We collaborate with Dr. Craig Taatjes at the Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Laboratory.  We investigate the reaction kinetics and chemical dynamics of small free radicals, especially those relevant to planetary atmospheres and cometary systems.

    At Howard we are studying electronic and vibrational energy transfer of free radicals such as CN and NH2. Prof. Halpern has a long existing collaboration with Prof. Helmut Zacharias at the Universitaet Muenster, studying the most gentle collision processes, where only the rotational quantum number or even just the orientation of a molecule changes. 

    Prof. Halpern is  Director of the NSF sponsored Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM), a collaboration between Howard University, Prince Georges Community College and the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at Johns Hopkins University for research in materials science. 

    Our part of this project grew out of pulsed laser deposition work on nitride thin films. In 1999 we discovered how to grow GaN nanowires. The GaN nanowire research was only been possible with the help of many collaborators.  Prof. Virginia and Prof. Martin Crimp of Michigan State University have been key collaborators in this work over the past five years.

    Prof. Halpern was the first Director of the DC Space Grant Consortium and now serves as the Associate Director at Howard. Space Grant Consortia, are congressionally mandated, NASA funded organizations whose mission is to support aerospace education and research across the country. Follow the DC Space Grant Consortium link bellow for more information.

    I have moved most of my teaching material to Blackboard.  Generally, I leave my current courses open to be viewed by guests.  Some material and syllabii remain at Classes.


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Modifications to standard Howard templates by Josh Halpern, 2008.
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