Phil Attard

Phil Attard is a Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. He works in the area of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, both equilibrium and non-equilibrium, with applications to colloid science and liquid state theory. He has made fundamental contributions to the theory of electrolytes and the electric double layer, and of inhomogeneous liquids more generally, having developed new computer simulation, integral equation, and asymptotic techniques for their treatment. In colloid science his work involves analysing and interpreting surface forces at the molecular level. He has developed several measurement techniques for soft systems such as bubbles, droplets, and elastic and viscoelastic particles, and he has developed two nanoscopic techniques to measure friction. He discovered nanobubbles, proposing them as the origin of the long-ranged hydrophobic attraction and obtaining images of them using scanning probe microscopy.

He has written a text book on equilibrium thermodynamics and statistical mechanics that is based upon a physical interpretation of entropy and probability. He has recently extended this approach to non-equilibrium systems, based on the so-called second entropy, and has obtained the non-equilibrium version of the Boltzmann distribution. His non-equilibrium theory has been used to obtain the Onsager reciprocal relations, the Green-Kubo relations, the non-equilibrium fluctuation-dissipation theorem, and the equations of non-linear hydrodynamics. Non-equilibrium molecular dynamics and non-equilibrium Monte Carlo simulation algorithms have been developed and successfully tested for the cases of steady heat flow and for driven Brownian motion. Most recently, the Rayleigh-Benard conduction-convection transition has been described, which is the first example of a thermodynamic theory quantitatively accounting for a non-equilibrium phase transition.

Research     Publications     Career     Nanobubbles

424 pages, Academic Press, London, 2002
ISBN 0-12-066321-X
Library of Congress 2002103392

The cover shows, emerging from the chaos, a statistical lattice gas, (upper right), and a thermodynamic subsytem of a reservoir, (lower left), unified by maximum entropy, (curves).


Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Equilibrium by Entropy Maximisation
Phil Attard

From the cover:
This book proceeds from a unified treatment of the foundations of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics and builds to advanced applications. It provides a comprehensive and self-contained reference manual for the modern mathematical and computational techniques of classical equilibrium statistical mechanics, with the focus primarily on liquids and disordered systems. First principles derivations are given for formally exact results and for diagrammatic and asymptotic expansions. Integral equation and density functional methods are covered in detail, with a novel maximum entropy interpretation offered for the latter. Applications to bulk fluids, and comprehensive treatments of inhomogeneous and Coulomb systems are given. Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulation techniques are also covered, including some recently developed algorithms.

The book is characterised by lucid explanations and pedagogic presentation, which is combined with a logical organisation of the material and transparent mathematical derivations. Simple graphs and figures illustrate the text throughout, and a list of key points concludes each chapter.

Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics will be an invaluable aid to research scientists who want an up-to-date and comprehensive coverage of these fields. Upper level undergaduate students, graduate students studying for a PhD or MSc, and lecturers in physical chemistry, theoretical chemistry, chemical engineering, or physics will also find the book an excellent reference with a fresh approach that offers a new perspective on these classical disciplines.

Contents         Preface         Errata