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Robert A. Beaudet

Professor of Chemistry
Physical Chemistry

Ph.D., 1962, Harvard University
B.S., 1957, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Office: SGM 418
Phone: (213) 740-7036
Fax: (213) 740-3972
Email: beaudet@usc.edu


Research Focus

 
Professor Beaudet's research interests are in the area of high resolution molecular spectroscopy, particularly in the microwave and infrared region. He has made significant contributions to the determination and the understanding of the molecular structures and properties of small boron hydrides and carborane molecules from their microwave rotational spectra. He has also developed laser diode infrared spectroscopy with a pulsed supersonically cooled slit jet to obtain the high resolution vibrational-rotational spectra of small van der Waals molecules such as Ar-CO2, CO2-HBr, NNO-HCl. From this work the intermolecular forces could be estimated.

Recently his interests have migrated towards practical real world applications of chemistry. He has been involved in life detection missions to Mars, including the sample return missions planned for 2003, 2005, and 2007. In the 2003 and the 2005 missions, Martian soil samples will be collect and stored on Mars. It is critical that the samples are not contaminated by terrestrial residues that might be interpreted as validating the presence of life forms on Mars. In the 2005 mission, the samples will be retrieved and returned to earth. Every safeguard must be taken not to bring back any biological pathogens if there were life forms on Mars. Prof. Beaudet's major involvement is protecting and preventing the cross-contamination of both Earth and Mars. Contamination of Martian soil by terrestrial biological residues would sabotage any future life detection experiments. Also, Martian samples returned to Earth must be treated has highly dangerous microorganisms until proven safe.

Prof. Beaudet is also very involved in issues relating to chemical and biological warfare, including defending against possible terrorist use. He chairs an NRC committee that is overseeing the Army's destruction of the US stockpile of chemical weapons, and that is evaluating alternative methods to incineration for destroying the assembled chemical weapons. An even more challenging problem are finding and properly destroying munitions that were buried during the last century.

Selected publications

 

  1. The gas-phase reaction of tetraborane(10) and ethyne: molecular structure of nido-1,2-C2B3H7 in the gas phase,
    M. A. Fox, R. Greatrex, A. Nikrahi, P. T. Brain, M. J. Picton, D. W. H. Rankin, H. E. Robertson, M. Buhl, L. Li, and R. A. Beaudet, Inorg. Chem. 37, 2166-2176 (1998)
  2. High resolution infrared spectroscopy of the CO2-Br2 weakly-bound cluster,
    A. Sazonov, R. A. Beaudet, J. Phys. Chem. A 102, 2792-2797 (1998)
  3. High resolution infrared spectroscopy of the CO2-CS2 weakly-bound cluster,
    C. Dutton and R. A. Beaudet, J. Phys. Chem. A 102, 6904-6909 (1998)
  4. Review and Evaluation of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons,
    R. A. Beaudet, et al., National Academies Press, (1999)
  5. Report of the Planetary Protection Task, 1998,
    R. Manvi, R. A. Beaudet, J. Barengoltz, R. Koukol, R. Kern, W. Schubert, S. Chung, JPL Document (March, 1999)
  6. Simple Mathematical Models for Estimating the Bio-Contami-nation Transported from a Lander or a Rover to the Martian Soil,
    R. Beaudet. . Proceedings of the 2000 International Conference on Environmental Systems, Toulouse, France, May 2000.
  7. Analysis Of Engineering Design Studies For Demilitarization Of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot,
    Robert A. Beaudet, et al., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2001.
  8. Evaluation of Demonstration Test Results of Alternative Technologies for Demilitarization of Assembled Chemical Weapons: A Supplemental Review for Demonstration II. , Robert A. Beaudet, et al., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2001.
  9. Update of the Analysis Of Engineering Design Studies For Demilitarization Of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Pueblo Chemical Depot Letter report to Dr. Hank Dubin, director,. Assessments and Evaluation, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (SAAL),
    Robert A. Beaudet, et al. Washington, D.C.: Board on Army Science and Technology, 2001.
  10. Analysis Of Engineering Design Studies For Demilitarization Of Assembled Chemical Weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot,
    Robert A. Beaudet, et al., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2002
 

Chemistry Dept., USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences