Ward H Thompson

Ward Thompson
  • Professor

Contact Info

Office Phone:
Department Phone:
3189B ISB (CDS1)
1567 Irving Hill Rd
Lawrence, KS 66045


Theoretical Physical Chemistry, reaction dynamics, quantum mechanical effects, vibrational spectroscopy, solvation dynamics, energy transfer, nanostructured materials. Our research focuses on the development and application of theoretical methods for describing reaction dynamics, energy transfer, and spectroscopy in condensed phase systems. The emphasis is on understanding at a molecular level the fundamental behavior of interesting chemical systems and phenomena. The goal of our work is to develop accurate theoretical and computational approaches that can be feasibly applied to complex chemical problems including reactions in liquids and nanostructured environments.

Research interests:

  • Theoretical Chemical Dynamics in Liquids, at Interfaces, and in Nanostructured Materials

Selected Publications

Piskulich, Z. A., Laage, D. & Thompson, W. H. Using Activation Energies to Elucidate Mechanisms of Water Dynamics. J. Phys. Chem. A125, 9941–9952 (2021).

Wimalasiri, P.N., et al., Amorphous Silica Slab Models with Variable Surface Roughness and Silanol Density for Use in Simulations of Dynamics and Catalysis. Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2021. 125(42): p. 23418-23434.

Senanayake, H.S., et al., Simulations of the IR and Raman spectra of water confined in amorphous silica slit pores. Journal of Chemical Physics, 2021. 154(10): p. 13.

Roget, S.A., et al., Identical Water Dynamics in Acrylamide Hydrogels, Polymers, and Monomers in Solution: Ultrafast IR Spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamics Simulations. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2021. 143(36): p. 14855-14868.

Piskulich, Z.A. and W.H. Thompson, Examining the Role of Different Molecular Interactions on Activation Energies and Activation Volumes in Liquid Water. Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, 2021. 17(5): p. 2659-2671.

Piskulich, Z.A., D. Laage, and W.H. Thompson, On the role of hydrogen-bond exchanges in the spectral diffusion of water. Journal of Chemical Physics, 2021. 154(6): p. 9.

Katiyar, A. and W.H. Thompson, Temperature Dependence of Peptide Conformational Equilibria from Simulations at a Single Temperature.Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 2021. 125(11): p. 2374-2384.

Borkowski, A.K., Z.A. Piskulich, and W.H. Thompson, Examining the Hofmeister Series through Activation Energies: Water Diffusion in Aqueous Alkali-Halide Solutions. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2021. 125(1): p. 350-359.

Yamada, S.A., et al., Effects of pore size on water dynamics in mesoporous silica. Journal of Chemical Physics, 2020. 152(15): p. 18.

Piskulich, Z.A. and W.H. Thompson, Temperature Dependence of the Water Infrared Spectrum: Driving Forces, Isosbestic Points, and Predictions.Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2020. 11(18): p. 7762-7768.

Awards & Honors

Sutton Family Research Impact Award Recipient