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Jun 23, 2020

An experiment suggested by a Ph.D. student may rewrite chemistry textbooks

Posted by in categories: chemistry, innovation

Yan McMullen had never heard of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences when he started casting about for a graduate chemistry program. But on the recommendation of one of his professors, he sent an email to the College’s Professor of Chemistry Stephen Bradforth proposing an experiment to tease out what makes a metal really a metal.

The proposal would not only turn into his Ph.D. thesis but a major scientific breakthrough.

McMullen’s proposal was not an easy sell. The experiment would be expensive and possibly dangerous.

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