Thomas Witten

Last updated

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

Physicist scientist who does research in physics

A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.

Soft matter subfield of condensed matter comprising a variety of physical systems that are deformed or structurally altered by thermal or mechanical stress of the magnitude of thermal fluctuations

Soft matter or soft condensed matter is a subfield of condensed matter comprising a variety of physical systems that are deformed or structurally altered by thermal or mechanical stress of the magnitude of thermal fluctuations. They include liquids, colloids, polymers, foams, gels, granular materials, liquid crystals, and a number of biological materials. These materials share an important common feature in that predominant physical behaviors occur at an energy scale comparable with room temperature thermal energy. At these temperatures, quantum aspects are generally unimportant. Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, who has been called the "founding father of soft matter," received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1991 for discovering that methods developed for studying order phenomena in simple systems can be generalized to the more complex cases found in soft matter, in particular, to the behaviors of liquid crystals and polymers.

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.

University of California, San Diego public university in San Diego, California, United States

The University of California, San Diego, also known as UCSD, is a public research university located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, in the United States. The university occupies 2,141 acres (866 ha) near the coast of the Pacific Ocean with the main campus resting on approximately 1,152 acres (466 ha). Established in 1960 near the pre-existing Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego is the seventh oldest of the 10 University of California campuses and offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, enrolling approximately 30,000 undergraduate and 8,500 graduate students.

The James Franck Institute of the University of Chicago conducts interdisciplinary research in physics, chemistry and materials science. Scientists at the institute include those interested in condensed matter physics, physical chemistry, materials chemistry, atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physics, geophysics, and biophysics.

University of Chicago Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. The university is composed of an undergraduate college, various graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees organized into five academic research divisions and seven professional schools. Beyond the arts and sciences, Chicago is also well known for its professional schools, which include the Pritzker School of Medicine, the Booth School of Business, the Law School, the School of Social Service Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, the Divinity School and the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. The university holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.

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]

The American Physical Society (APS) is the world's second largest organization of physicists. The Society publishes more than a dozen scientific journals, including the prestigious Physical Review and Physical Review Letters, and organizes more than twenty science meetings each year. APS is a member society of the American Institute of Physics.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences United States honorary society and center for independent policy research

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the oldest learned societies in the United States. It is devoted to the advancement and study of the key societal, scientific, and intellectual issues of the day.

Leiden University university in the Netherlands

Leiden University, founded in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. The university was founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years' War. The Dutch Royal Family and Leiden University have a close association: Queen Juliana, Queen Beatrix and King Willem-Alexander are former students. The university came into particular prominence during the Dutch Golden Age, when scholars from around Europe were attracted to the Dutch Republic due to its climate of intellectual tolerance and Leiden's international reputation. During this time Leiden was home to such figures as René Descartes, Rembrandt, Christiaan Huygens, Hugo Grotius, Baruch Spinoza and Baron d'Holbach.

Related Research Articles

Edward Witten American theoretical physicist

Edward Witten is an American theoretical physicist and professor of mathematical physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Hendrik Lorentz Dutch physicist

Hendrik Antoon Lorentz was a Dutch physicist who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Pieter Zeeman for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect. He also derived the transformation equations underpinning Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity.

Nicolaas Bloembergen Dutch-born American physicist

Nicolaas "Nico" Bloembergen was a Dutch-American physicist and Nobel laureate, recognized for his work in developing driving principles behind nonlinear optics for laser spectroscopy. During his career, he was a professor at both Harvard University and later at the University of Arizona.

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.

Carlo Beenakker Dutch physicist

Carlo Willem Joannes Beenakker is a professor at Leiden University and leader of the university's mesoscopic physics group, established in 1992.

Leo Kadanoff American physicist

Leo Philip Kadanoff was an American physicist. He was a professor of physics at the University of Chicago and a former President of the American Physical Society (APS). He contributed to the fields of statistical physics, chaos theory, and theoretical condensed matter physics.

Harry L. Swinney is an American physicist noted for his contributions to the field of nonlinear dynamics.

Harden M. McConnell was a scientist – one of the leading physical chemists of the last 50 years. His work provided the foundation for many areas within science today, and has been internationally recognized by the many awards he has received, including the National Medal of Science, the Wolf Prize, and election to the National Academy of Science."

History of knot theory

Knots have been used for basic purposes such as recording information, fastening and tying objects together, for thousands of years. The early, significant stimulus in knot theory would arrive later with Sir William Thomson and his theory of vortex atoms.

Harry Eugene Stanley is an American physicist and University Professor at Boston University. He has made seminal contributions to statistical physics and is one of the pioneers of interdisciplinary science. His current research focuses on understanding the anomalous behavior of liquid water, but he had made fundamental contributions to complex systems, such as quantifying correlations among the constituents of the Alzheimer brain, and quantifying fluctuations in noncoding and coding DNA sequences, interbeat intervals of the healthy and diseased heart. He is one of the founding fathers of econophysics.

Andrea Prosperetti is the Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston, the Berkhoff Professor of Applied Physics at the University of Twente in the Netherlands and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is known for his work in the field of multiphase flows including bubble dynamics and cavitation.

V. Alan Kostelecký is a theoretical physicist who is a distinguished professor of physics at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is noted for his work on Lorentz symmetry breaking in particle physics. He has been described as the world's leading authority on violations of space-time symmetry.

H. Douglas Keith physicist

Dr. H. Douglas Keith, FAAAS was a physicist and one of the primary polymer researchers over the latter half of the 20th century.

Michael Cates British physicist and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge

Michael Elmhirst Cates is a British physicist. He is the 19th Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and has held this position since 1 July 2015. He was previously Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and has held a Royal Society Research Professorship since 2007.

Steve Granick American scientist and educator

Steve Granick is an American scientist and educator. He directs the Institute for Basic Science Center for Soft and Living Matter, an interdisciplinary blue-sky research center in Ulsan, South Korea that pursues basic science research. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Viswanathan Kumaran is an Indian chemical engineer, rheologist and a professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Indian Institute of Science. He is known for his studies on stability of flow past flexible surfaces and is an elected fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the apex agency of the Government of India for scientific research, awarded him the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, one of the highest Indian science awards for his contributions to Engineering Sciences in 2000. A recipient of the TWAS Prize in 2014 and the Infosys Prize 2016 in the Engineering and Computer Science category, Kumaran was listed in the Asian Scientist 100, a list of top 100 scientists from Asia, by the Asian Scientist magazine.

Ashish Kishore Lele is an Indian chemical engineer, rheologist and the chief scientist at the National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. He is known for his researches on micro and mesostructure of polymers and is an elected fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the apex agency of the Government of India for scientific research, awarded him the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology, one of the highest Indian science awards for his contributions to Engineering Sciences in 2006. He received the Infosys Prize in 2012.

Anna C. Balazs is an American materials scientist and engineer. She currently is Distinguished Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and holds the John A. Swanson Chair at the Swanson School of Engineering.

Amalie L. Frischknecht is an American theoretical polymer physicist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) in 2012 for "her outstanding contributions to the theory of ionomers and nanocomposites including the development and application of density functional theory to polymers". Her research focuses on understanding the structure, phase behavior, and self-assembly of polymer systems, such as complex fluids polymer nanocomposites, lipid bilayer assemblies, and ionomers.

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.
  5. University of Chicago News Profile
  6. 2002 Polymer Physics Prize Website
  7. Lorentz Chairs at Leiden University