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David D. Grove
Professor of Chemistry

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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American Studies

Eckerd College Chemistry News

Ethylene Glycol Astronomers at the Paris Observatory recently have confirmed a prediction by Eckerd College chemistry professor Reggie Hudson. In an article in the journal Icarus in 2000, Dr. Hudson, and NASA colleague Dr. Marla Moore, predicted that intense cosmic radiation and ultraviolet (uv) light in outer space would convert some of the frozen methyl alcohol in comets into ethylene glycol. The prediction was followed by presentations at international meetings of comet scientists in Berlin, Paris, and Holland. At the time of the prediction, cometary molecule as big as ethylene glycol were unknown.

In a recent article in the international journal Astronomy and Astrophysics , French astronomers describe their discovery of ethylene glycol, known on Earth as antifreeze, in Comet Hale-Bopp. The French team used a radio telescope to measure characteristic light waves emitted by ethylene glycol as the comet passed by the Sun. The light acted as a molecular fingerprint, revealing the comet's chemical make-up.

Dr. Hudson, who has taught at Eckerd College 26 years and has worked as an astrochemist for 20 years, has been assisted in his research by Eckerd students such as Jocelyn Cox and Colleen Ramsey. Ms. Cox is now a Ph.D. student in physical chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Ms. Ramsey is in her senior year at Eckerd College. Both students did undergraduate research at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, carrying out experiments on the photo- and radiation-chemical processing of icy interstellar material.

Jocelyn Cox
Colleen Ramsey
Jocelyn Cox, Class of 2001
Colleen Ramsey, Class of 2004

(Originally posted 6/30/2004)

Chemistry at Eckerd

The Chemistry Department at Eckerd College offers Bachelor's degrees in chemistry, including a chemistry degree certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS). We are one of only two Florida colleges where a student can earn an ACS-certified biochemistry degree. Our students have gone on to careers in fields such as forensics, atmospheric chemistry, and pharmaceutical chemistry as well as DNA structural research, cosmetic chemistry, and medicine. We've even graduated a professional baseball player and a college president!

The James Center

Center for Molecular and Life Sciences

Equipped with the latest in eco-conscious innovations, educational technology and scientific instrumentation, the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences will advance our efforts to prepare tomorrow’s leaders in the sciences, and will quickly become the hub of the Natural Sciences at Eckerd College. Discover the James Center.