DeWitt Wallace Professor of Chemistry
Physical Chemistry and Molecular Spectroscopy

Olin-Rice Science Center, 317


Professor Varberg studies the electronic spectra of metal-containing free radicals and reactive species. His niche in this field is to record spectra at very high resolution in order to analyze the metal hyperfine structure, which provides insights into the nature of the chemical bonding in these important systems. His research group makes their molecules either in a hollow cathode discharge or in their new molecular beam source that utilizes laser ablation. He has received over $1 million in research funding in his time at Macalester, supporting the work of over 35 Macalester research students. His current funding is provided by the federal government’s National Science Foundation. He and his students have published 28 research articles since he arrived at Macalester in 1992.

Prof. Varberg teaches the department’s junior-year courses in physical chemistry (Thermodynamics & Kinetics and Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy) as well as regular and accelerated versions of General Chemistry. He has spent sabbaticals and leaves of absence in Oxford, England; Boulder, Colorado; Vancouver, Canada; Sydney, Australia; and most recently in Zürich, Switzerland & Florence, Italy, which are all great places to live and undertake interesting scientific research. He and his wife Michelle have three sons and enjoy traveling, hiking and camping.

BA: Hamline University, 1985

PhD: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1990

Post-doc: National Institute of Standards and Technology (Boulder, Colo.), 1990–92

Post-doc: University of Oxford, 1992–93