Thomas Witten

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Thomas Witten is an American theoretical physicist working in the field of soft matter physics.

Biography

Witten received his doctorate in physics in 1971 from the University of California, San Diego. He is currently the Homer J. Livingston Professor in the James Franck Institute at the University of Chicago. He is known in particular for his pioneering work on diffusion-limited aggregation, [1] crumpled sheets [2] and coffee rings. [3] [4] His current research interests include polymers, complex fluids and granular materials. [5] He cowrote the "Structured Fluids: Polymers, Colloids, Surfactants" ( ISBN   019958382X) together with Philip Pincus.

In 2002 he received the American Physical Society Polymer Physics Prize [6] and he is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2010 he held the Lorentz Chair at Leiden University. [7]

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Diffusion-limited aggregation

Diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) is the process whereby particles undergoing a random walk due to Brownian motion cluster together to form aggregates of such particles. This theory, proposed by T.A. Witten Jr. and L.M. Sander in 1981, is applicable to aggregation in any system where diffusion is the primary means of transport in the system. DLA can be observed in many systems such as electrodeposition, Hele-Shaw flow, mineral deposits, and dielectric breakdown.

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References

  1. T. A. Witten, Jr. & L. M. Sander (1981). "Diffusion-Limited Aggregation, a Kinetic Critical Phenomenon". Physical Review Letters. pp. 1400–1403.
  2. Thomas A. Witten (2007). "Stress focusing in elastic sheets". Reviews of Modern Physics. p. 643.
  3. University of Chicago News: Why those pesky rings? Fundamental physics revealed in a drop of java
  4. Robert D. Deegan, Olgica Bakajin, Todd F. Dupont, Greb Huber, Sidney R. Nagel and Thomas A. Witten (1997). "Capillary flow as the cause of ring stains from dried liquid drops". Nature. p. 827.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. University of Chicago News Profile
  6. 2002 Polymer Physics Prize Website
  7. Lorentz Chairs at Leiden University