“Nanotechnology at SMC” will be the topic of the final talk in the Santa Monica College (SMC) Fall 2006 “Distinguished Scientists Lecture Series,” a series of talks designed for lay audiences.

The lecture is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, December 5th, in SMC’s Science Lecture Hall 145, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The speaker will be SMC chemistry professor Dr. James Murphy, who in August was named winner of SMC’s Marvin Elkin/Northrop Grumman Chair of Excellence in Physical Sciences.

Murphy is using the funds that come with the award to work with students to build special equipment that will be used for projects in nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is the study and manipulation of matter on the scale of individual atoms and molecules.

While a relatively new field, nanotechnology research and development is growing rapidly, with an estimated $4.1 billion current investment worldwide and an estimated $1 trillion contribution to the global economy by 2015, according to a college spokesman.

Nanotechnology is being used increasingly in medical treatments, electronics and other fields.

Murphy, who received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), has taught at SMC since 1995. His M.I.T. thesis work and his postdoctoral research at Pacific Northwest Laboratory in the early 1990s involved the use of laser spectroscopy to understand the electronic structure of small molecules.

The lecture series is sponsored by the SMC Physical Science and Life Science departments and the SMC Associates, a private organization that funds speakers and special events on campus.

Information, (310) 434-4003.