Toby, Sidney

Professor Emeritus and Lecturer

Phone: 732-445-4455

E-mail: E-mail

FAX: 732-445-5312

Office: Wright Rieman Labs 276/294

  • B.S. 1952, London
  • Ph.D. 1955, McGill

Research Summary

Our research is concerned with atmospheric chemistry, particularly the reactions of ozone. Ozone is a unique molecule in that most of its reactions are accompanied by the emission of light. This chemiluminescence is important for the following reasons. (1) It is a sensitive analytical tool that can be used to detect parts per billion of reactants as diverse as arsine, nickel carbonyl, and dimethyl sulfide. (2) Spectroscopic analysis of the emission from reactive intermediates gives a wealth of information about their energy states, geometry, and reactivity. Examples are HSO, FCO, AND CF2 (both triplet and excited singlet). (3) Chemiluminescence serves as an invaluable probe in chemical kinetics, enabling one to detect intermediates, understand reaction mechanisms, and measure rate constants. Systems which have been investigated in this way are the reactions of ozone with tetrafluoroethene, with thiophene, and with carbon monoxide. 


  1. The Simulation of Dynamic Systems (with F. S. Toby), J. Chem. Educ., 1999, 76, 1584.
  2. On Vitalism in Chemistry, letter to Nature, 2000, vol 408, 767.
  3. The Relationship between Stoichiometry and Kinetics, J. Chem. Educ., 2000, 77, 188.
  4. Digitization: the Good and the Bad, Nature, 2001, 410, 523
  5. What is the Overall Stoichiometry of a Complex Reaction? (with I. Tobias), J. Chem. Educ., 2003, 80, 520.
  6. Testing, Testing: Good Teaching Is Difficult; So Is Meaningful Testing, (with R. J. Plano), J. Chem. Educ., 2004, 81, 180.
  7. Bringing History to the Classroom: Spoofs about Problems in Obtaining Research Grants, J. Chem. Educ., 2004, 81, 503.
  8. "Stoichiometry", article in "Chemistry: Foundations and Applications", 4 vols., New York: Macmillan Reference, 2004.