Dr. Chad Orzel, a physics professor and blogger on ScienceBlogs.com, recently posted an interesting post, Dorky Poll: Non-Abelian Sciences, wherein Orzel pondered the difference between physical chemistry and chemical physics. Of course the standard reply: "If you publish in the Journal of Chemical Physics JCP) you are a chemical physicist, and if you publish in the Journal of Physical Chemistry (JPC) you are a physical chemist" was promptly added to the comment section. But it reminded me that a couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a few of the editors of JCP, and they assured me that there is something much more distinct about their journal and its authors: rigor.
The word strikes me as one that is only used by those meticulous enough to know exactly what it means. That is a bit of a circularand maybe a nebulousargument, but it became clearer to me once I took a look at a few articles.
This article1, published in JCP in April, takes a look at so-called nanodimer motors. There have been several synthetic molecular motors fabricated with nanoscale dimensions before, and Tao and Kapral discuss a chemical-reaction fueled method of propelling them. They propose that instead of only resulting in enhanced diffusion, the motors can instead be used in targeted dynamics and to perform tasks.
I bring it to the attention of the blog because of the theoretical rigor included in the paperit's striking how mathematically thorough the paper is. Once again reminding me of what is perhaps the real difference between chemical physicists and physical chemists (no offense to my chemist friends).
1Tao, Y., Kapral, R. (2008). Design of chemically propelled nanodimer motors. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 128(16), 164518. DOI: 10.1063/1.2908078