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Chuck Williamson

Professor of Chemistry; Taul Watanabe Chair in the Sciences
Specialty: Physical Chemistry

Headshot of Chuck Williamson

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Olin Science Center 312
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


  • PhD, California Institute of Technology
  • BS, Harvey Mudd College


Many pairs of liquids are partially miscible: the liquids mix completely at some compositions and temperatures, but separate into two immiscible layers at other compositions and temperatures. Research in my laboratory centers on the characterization of partially-miscible liquid-liquid systems that have critical points. A variety of experimental techniques are employed to do this, including elastic laser light scattering, Raman spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and gas chromatography / mass spectrometry. Of current particular interest is the impact of third component "impurities" on the critical temperatures and the critical compositions of liquid-liquid systems.


CHEM 115 - General Chemistry I

CHEM 115Y - General Chemistry I Laboratory

CHEM 116 - General Chemistry II

CHEM 116Y - General Chemistry II Laboratory

CHEM 321 - Physical Chemistry I

CHEM 321Y - Physical Chemistry I Laboratory

CHEM 322 - Physical Chemistry II

CHEM 344W - Experimental Chemistry I

CHEM 346W - Experimental Biochemistry I

CHEM 344Y - Experimental Chemistry I Laboratory

CHEM 495 - Senior Research Projects I

CHEM 496Y - Senior Research Projects II Laboratory


“Off-Critical Wetting Layer Divergence at the Liquid / Vapor Interface of Binary Liquid Mixtures”
J.C. Williamson, E. E. Weatherford*, M. M. DenBeste*, K. C. Riley*, E. F. Yee*, S. T. Rogers*, and C. A. Tibbetts*, J. Chem. Phys.157(8), 084504 (2022). doi: 10.1063/5.0105690.

Liquid-Liquid Demonstrations: Spinodal DecompositionJ. C. Williamson. J. Chem. Educ., 98(7), 2370-2375 (2021). doi: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c01519

Liquid-Liquid Demonstrations: Critical OpalescenceJ. C. Williamson. J. Chem. Educ., 98(7), 2364-2369 (2021). doi: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c01518

Liquid-Liquid Demonstrations: Phase Equilibria and the Lever RuleJ. C. Williamson. J. Chem. Educ., 98(7), 2356-2363 (2021). doi: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.0c01517

The Sweetness of Aspartame: Introducing Key Statistical Concepts in an Upper Division Bioanalytical Laboratory ProjectJ. C. Williamson and T. P. Silverstein, J. Chem. Educ. 98(4), 1233-1241 (2021).

“Liposome Permeability Probed By Laser Light Scattering” T. P. Silverstein and J. C. WilliamsonBiochem. Mol. Biol. Educ47(3), 239-246 (2019).

“Determination of Liquid-Liquid Critical Point Composition Using 90° Laser Light Scattering” J. C. Williamson, Allison M. Brown*, Elise N. Helvie*, and Kevin M. Dean*, Phys. Rev. E, 93, 042610 (2016).

“A Molecular Iodine Spectral Data Set for Rovibronic Analysis” J. C. Williamson, T. S. Kuntzleman, and R. A. Kafader*, J. Chem. Educ., 90(3), 383-385 (2013).

“Molecular Iodine Fluorescence Using a Green Helium-Neon Laser” J. C. Williamson, J. Chem. Educ., 88(6), 816-818 (2011). 

“The Stir-Settle Approach to Semiautomated Light Scattering Determination of Liquid-Liquid Coexistence Curves” K. M. Dean* and J. C.  Williamson, J. Chem. Eng. Data, 56(4), 1433-1437 (2011).

“Molecular Iodine Fluorescence Spectra Generated from Helium-Neon Lasers for Spectrometer Calibration” J. C. Williamson, Appl. Spectrosc., 64(12), 1419-1422 (2010).

“The Accuracy of Liquid-Liquid Phase Transition Temperatures Determined from Semiautomated Light Scattering Measurements” K. M. Dean*, C. B. Babayco*, D. R. B. Sluss*, and J. C. Williamson, J. Chem. Phys. 133, 074506 (2010).

“Subwavenumber Charge-Coupled Device Spectrometer Calibration Using Molecular Iodine Laser-Induced Fluorescence” J. G. Lambert*, C. Hernandez-Diaz*, and J. C. Williamson, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 81, 013110 (2010). 

“Interactive Two-Component Phase Diagrams” J. C. Williamson, J. Chem. Educ. 86(5), 653-654 (2009).

“Teaching the Rovibronic Spectroscopy of Molecular Iodine” J. C. Williamson, J. Chem. Educ. 84(8), 1355-1359 (2007).


Taul Watanabe Chair in the Sciences (2018)

Jerry E. Hudson Award for Outstanding Teaching (2016)

ACS Petroleum Research Fund Undergraduate Research Grant (2015-2018)

Willamette University

Department of Chemistry

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6013 voice
503-375-5425 fax