Professor David Chandler ForMemRS
David Chandler was a theoretical chemist whose insights into statistical mechanics laid the foundation for pivotal contributions to theories of the structure and dynamics of liquids. Weeks–Chandler–Andersen (WCA) perturbation theory is now widely seen as the basic equilibrium theory of liquids. Pratt–Chandler theory describes hydrophobicity — an effect thought to be central to the formation of biological structures.
David extended WCA theory to make the first predictions and explanations of the structure of polyatomic fluids. David’s methods for computer-based numerical simulation of rare but important events led to his development of techniques for understanding systems far from equilibrium. This includes the glass transition — a reversible change of amorphous substances from a hard, brittle state to a molten, flexible state.
David was the author of the highly regarded textbook, Introduction to Modern Statistical Mechanics. His honours included the Hildebrand Award in the theoretical and experimental chemistry of liquids, the Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics, the Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize, and election to the US National Academy of Sciences.
Interests and expertise