Keith Earle

Professor Keith Earle’s research is focused on the application and development of quasioptical techniques to improve the sensitivity of very high frequency (95—250GHz) electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrometers for the study of funda­mental processes in biological and physical-inorganic systems. Continuing this work and its application to systems of biophysical in­terest is of key importance to obtain in­sights into basic questions of structure, dynamics and biological function.
I am particularly interested in the development of experimental, analytical and numerical tools for the evaluation and improvement of novel quasioptical structures for the study of aqueous in vitro samples with future applications to in vivo samples.

Non-Kramers transition metal ions, i.e., paramagnetic ions with integer spin, or other strongly-coupled transition metal ion systems, are often exploited by nature for important bio­logical pro­cesses. Such ions are often difficult to observe with conventional tech­niques, including con­ventional ESR tech­niques, however. Very high-frequency ESR offers the possibility of obtaining im­portant insights into these systems, e.g., ferrous iron (heme and non-heme) or the tetra­manganous, oxygen-evolving reaction center (photosystem II).

The analysis of magnetic resonance (NMR and ESR) spectra, particularly multi-frequency and time-domain experiments, is an important area of research as ever-more sophisti­cated experi­mental techniques are introduced. I am developing computational meth­ods, based on path-integral techniques, to perform cal­culations that will supplement more traditional methods based on eigenfunction expansions.