Professor of Physics and ’72 graduate of Knox College, Chuck Schulz, gave a presentation of Mossbauer spectroscopy and lectured on several case studies in his presentation titled “The Magic of Mossbauer.”
Spectroscopy is the study of the molecule’s physical properties as measured by the wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation absorbed. Schulz specifically studies Mossbauer spectroscopy, also known as nuclear gamma ray resonance absorption spectroscopy.
This particular type of spectroscopy takes its name from German physicist Rudolf Mossbauer, who first observed the “Mossbauer Effect”: the recoil-free emission and absorption of gamma rays by nuclei. He discovered the effect in 1957, and received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1961.
Schulz has done numerous case studies using Mossbauer spectroscopy and said it has “important applications in many areas of the sciences.” Scientists in fields from physics and chemistry to biology and metallurgy use Mossbauer spectroscopy. Using a Mossbauer spectrometer, scientists are able to measure energy levels in the nuclei of molecules.
From the Knox faculty site, Schulz said he uses spectroscopy “as a tool in working toward understanding how metalloproteins’ structure allow them to perform their specific catalytic activities. Knowing the relationship between a protein’s structure and its function is essential to understanding the operation of living systems. It also has the potential to aid in the treatment of genetic diseases.”