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Clifford LeMaster, Ph.D.


Physical Chemistry
Office: SCNC 319




Research focus: Energy transfer within and between molecules; Energy transfer effect on molecular structure and dynamics

Educational Background

1988-1990: University of California, Davis, Post Doc
1988: University of California, Davis, Ph.D. (Physical Chemistry)
1984: California State University, Hayward, B.S. (Chemistry)

Chemical education issues in all areas are of interest and has resulted in the creation of The Chemical Educator – a journal devoted to chemical education. For more information visit


Inter- and intramolecular energy transfer, solvent effects, molecular structure and dynamics coupled with computational chemistry are areas of interest. Dynamic NMR spectroscopy in the gas phase can be used, as it is in liquids, to provide kinetic and thermodynamic data related to low-energy inter- and intramolecular reactions, such as conformational exchange and molecular associations. Because gas-phase dynamic studies can use pressure as well as temperature as a variable, information not available from condensed-phase studies can be obtained in the gas phase.

Pedagogical Philosophy

My teaching philosophy revolves around my belief that teaching and learning are two sides of the same coin. “Good” instruction is an invigorating teaching and learning experience for everyone involved. The primary job of a teacher is to teach students how to learn. By understanding what is needed to become a proficient learner, students, in effect, become teachers developing the ability to teach themselves, an ability that will benefit them long after their formal education has ended.

About Me

One of my interests is photography. Examples of my work include these categories: art, color, desert items, desert landscape, flowers, framed, mountains, night, people, reflection, scenery, silhouette, and sunset.

I enjoy exploring Southwest Utah. Over 30 years of exploration in the Canyonlands/Arches area near Moab by 4-wheel drive and on foot has been one of my longtime interests. See a few video clips of my 2007 Spring vacation in the area:

  • Easy Hill (40 MB): Starting out on the Poison Spider Mesa trail.
  • Waterfall (71 MB): One of the hardest spots on the Poison Spider Mesa trail which is ranks as the fifth hardest trail in the area. One slip to the left and it is body damage or a rollover.
  • Hard Hill (97 MB): Even motocross bikes have problems here.