Mirror image symmetry plays an important role in predicting the behavior of molecules. Recently, knots and links and other non-planar molecules have been synthesized which are large enough so that they no longer have the rigidity that is characteristic of small molecules. In order to understand the symmetries of such molecules we need to understand their deformations. Topology is the area of mathematics that analyzes how geometric objects can be deformed and which properties of such an object will be preserved by deformations. In this talk we will discuss how topology can be used to help us analyze the symmetries of flexible molecules.
Erica Flapan got her PhD in 1983 from the University of Wisconsin in the field of Knot Theory. She taught at Rice University and the University of California at Santa Barbara before joining the Mathematics Department of Pomona College in 1986. Flapan has numerous publications in both 3-dimensional topology and applications of topology to chemistry. In 2000, the Mathematical Association of America and Cambridge University Press jointly published her book When Topology Meets Chemistry.
|101||From US Highway 101, take the De La Cruz Boulevard/Santa Clara exit and follow the signs to El Camino and the main campus entrance.|
|280||From I-280, take I-880 north toward Oakland to the Alameda exit. Turn left onto The Alameda (which becomes El Camino Real) to the main campus entrance.|
|880||From I-880, take the Alameda exit, travel north (The Alameda becomes El Camino Real) to the main campus entrance.|