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New directions in molecular scattering Faraday Discussion

8 May 2024 11:00 - 10 May 2024 13:00, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

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Join us in either Edinburgh or online in May 2024 for this edition of the Faraday Discussion series. The Faraday Discussions are unique international discussion meetings that address current and emerging topics at the forefront of the physical sciences.

This meeting is for established and early-career scientists, postgraduate students and industrial researchers working on various aspects of molecular scattering. It will provide an ideal forum for cross-fertilisation of ideas and understanding between the distinct but adjacent communities working in this exciting field, as well as those in application areas who can benefit from and implement the results. On behalf of the organising committee, we look forward to welcoming you to Edinburgh, or if you are joining us virtually, online.

Ken McKendrick


Faraday Discussions have a special format where primary research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. All delegates at the meeting, not just speakers, have the opportunity to make comments, ask questions, or present complementary or contradictory measurements and calculations during the discussion sessions. In addition, there is a dedicated poster session where further discussion takes place. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions.


The meeting will comprise four inter-related themes, covering all types of inelastic and reactive two-body collisions. The overall focus is on the growing capability to investigate collisions involving larger, more-complex systems than have previously been accessible to study. Small, typically three-atom, systems have been the established bedrock of molecular collision dynamics. The transition to systems of more practical interest involving greater complexity presents profound conceptual and practical challenges to the established ‘state-to-state’ philosophy. Improved experimental and theoretical capabilities enable the study of scattering systems more typical of real-world applications, and also offer the ability to probe processes in extreme environments. However, many of these approaches are still able to exploit the benefits of quantum-state preparation, stereochemical control of reactants, and detailed characterisation of products typical of studies in smaller systems. Looking beyond the conventional near-thermal regime, studies at successively lower translational energies have emerged as a major topical area, and there is also increasing interest in studying processes at very high collision energies, typical of ionised systems. The shift in focus towards more complex systems also applies to collisions of gas-phase molecules with condensed-phase surfaces. Such collisions are widespread in diverse environments extending from atmospheric chemistry, through heterogeneous catalysis, to biological respiration, but despite their obvious applicability they have been much less well studied than bimolecular collisions in the gas phase.

Manipulation and control of translational energy or stereochemistry of collision partners

This session will explore key challenges in applying existing experimental and theoretical methods to a wider range of collision systems, going beyond the existing three-atom benchmarks.  It will cover innovations in the use of control methods using different forms of physical interaction, and new, untested methods of control, such as coupling molecules to external quantized systems or by quantum entanglement.

Scattering in extreme environments

This session will focus on key challenges in: (i) overcoming the ‘technology-driven’ aspects of cold collisions, stemming from their origins in atomic physics, to produce cold molecular species of more widespread chemical interest; (ii) developing theoretical approaches capable of capturing uniquely quantum phenomena in very low-energy collisions; (iii) the efficient creation of neutral molecules with very high translational energies; (iv) the development of new tools to study the products of hyperthermal molecule-molecule, ion-molecule, or electron-molecule collisions, or collisions of internally highly excited molecules; and (v) the development of theoretical methods to generate accurate, non-adiabatically coupled potential energy surfaces and carry out scattering calculations on them at high energies where a large number of product channels are open.

Scattering of larger molecules

This session will focus on a number of key challenges associated with studying scattering processes involving larger molecules. These include (i) making reliable measurements of branching ratios for reactions of larger molecules with multiple product channels; (ii) developing methods to study new phenomena which only apply to larger molecules, such as the effect of molecular conformations; (iii) studying the multibody effects of solvent molecules on conventional ‘bimolecular’ reactions; (iv) developing alternative theoretical methods for larger systems to overcome the limiting, N3 dependence of conventional time-independent quantum scattering; and (v) interfacing with the end-user communities in e.g. the atmosphere, combustion, catalysis, astrochemistry and plasmas to direct effort towards those larger systems of most relevance.

Scattering at condensed-phase surfaces

This session will focus on key challenges associated with studying scattering at surfaces.  These include:(i) understanding how chemical functionality and atomic-level structure affects the branching between different outcomes for collisions at surfaces; (ii) understanding the role of mode-selectivity in promoting reactivity and controlling branching between outcomes of collisions at solid surfaces; (iii) achieving gas-phase measurements close to solid surfaces of real catalytic interest under more realistic operating conditions; (iv) studying scattering from liquid, especially aqueous, surfaces with non-negligible vapour pressure; (v) carrying out reliable scattering calculations at condensed phase surfaces involving large numbers of atoms and without necessarily any long-range order; and (vi) exploring possible nonadiabatic electron-nucleus coupling in scattering processes.
Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts - now closed

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. 

Papers must be submitted by 11 December 2023 and be full research papers with a significant amount of new, unpublished work. The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume.

Poster Abstracts - now closed

Submit your poster abstract by 11 March 2024. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. Poster Prizes will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference.

Additional Information 

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation
Registration is now closed.

In-person registration includes:
  • Attendance at all scientific sessions
  • Attendance at the poster session
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting and lunch on all three days
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on 8 July
  • Attendance at the conference dinner on 9 July
  • Access to all journal paper pdf “pre-prints” before the meeting
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event
  • For full paying delegates, a copy of the Faraday Discussion journal volume, issued approximately 5 months after the meeting, containing all papers presented at the meeting and accompanying discussion comments. Student delegates may purchase a copy of the volume at less than half price, during the registration process or on site at the meeting. Please note accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

All prices quoted do not include VAT, which is added during registration at the prevailing rate in the UK
Early bird Standard
RSC member £415 +VAT £465 +VAT
Non-member £530 +VAT £580 +VAT
Student RSC member £205 +VAT £255 +VAT
Student non-member £255 +VAT £305 +VAT
Accompanying person £125 +VAT £125 + VAT

Virtual registration includes:
  • ​Live access to all scientific sessions
  • Access to all journal paper pdf “pre-prints” before the meeting
  • Access to recordings of all scientific sessions post-event 
All prices quoted do not include VAT, which is added during registration at the prevailing rate in the UK
RSC member £130 +VAT
Non-member £155 +VAT
Student RSC member £70 +VAT
Student non-member £95 +VAT

A copy of the Faraday Discussion journal volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 5 months after the meeting) is not included in the virtual registration fee. Delegates may purchase a copy of the volume at less than half price, during the registration process or on site at the meeting. 

RSC members and student RSC members

If you are a Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number

Non-member and student non-members

For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2024 is available; the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event.

Student delegates 

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee is available for students. This fee applies to those undertaking a full-time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

A copy of the Faraday Discussion journal volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 5 months after the meeting) is not included in the student registration fee. Students may purchase a copy of the volume at less than half price, during the registration process or on site at the meeting.

Accompanying person

If you would like to bring a guest to the conference, this can be done during the registration process. There will be an additional charge which will include all lunches, refreshments and the conference dinner. The fee does not include attendance at any scientific sessions, journal paper pre-prints or the journal volume.


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance.

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry


Researcher Development and Travel Grants

If you are an RSC Member and you are one of the following

  • A PhD student;
  • An academic researcher within 10 years of completion of a PhD (including postdoctoral researchers);
  • Working in the industry within 10 years of leaving full-time education or;
  • A technician within 10 years of leaving full-time education.

You can apply for up to £500 to support your participation in this event.Please note it is not necessary to have confirmation of abstract acceptance before applying for a Researcher Development and Travel Grant and we encourage you to apply as early as possible. This Grant is open for 11 months of the year – January to November.
Applicants must apply for activities occurring at least 2 months from the end of your application month. Please see the website for up-to-date information on eligibility, how to apply and submission deadlines.
Researcher Development and Travel Grants can be applied for in addition to Grants for Carers and Assistance Grants.

Grants for Carers

Grants for carers have been introduced following the Royal Society of Chemistry Breaking the barriers report where 78% of chemists working in UK academia felt that managing parenting and/or caring responsibilities has an impact on women’s retention and progression. This fund is not limited to women scientists and welcomes applications from anyone with caring responsibilities. These grants have been supported by The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemists’ Community Fund.

You can apply for up to a maximum of £1000/year to assist with additional financial costs that you incur for care usually provided by you whilst you attend a chemistry related meeting, conference or workshop or a professional development event.

Caring responsibilities are wide and varied, and so each application will be individually assessed, examples of applications that we will consider include:
  • paying for extra home help or nursing care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • additional medical/respite care for a dependent whilst you will not be present
  • travel expenses for a relative to travel with you to care for dependents whilst you attend a meeting or event
  • paying for extended hours with a care worker/childminder/play scheme to cover time when you will arrive home later than normal.
You are eligible to apply if: 
  • you are a chemist
  • you will incur additional caring expenses whilst attending a chemistry-related meeting, conference, event or workshop or a professional development event
  • you will use these funds to cover the cost of care that you usually provide 
  • you are based in the UK or Ireland or if not, you will normally have held three years RSC membership (past or current).
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
There are opportunities available to become a Faraday Discussion sponsor and exhibitor, as well as poster session and abstract book advertising options. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.

Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
If you would like more information about sponsoring the 2024 Faraday Discussion series, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on Sponsorship Menu
Dynamic Earth

Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AS, United Kingdom


University of Edinburgh accommodation There are various accomodation options in walking distance to the Dynamic Earth.

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