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Department of Chemistry


We will use our upcoming Linnett Symposium to honour a scientist who "changed the course of physical chemistry not just once, but several times." 

At the event - which takes place in our Pfizer Lecture Theatre in mid-April - an international line-up of speakers will gather to talk about the influence of Professor David Chandler on their work. 

The late Professor Chandler, a pillar of the physical chemistry community and former Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley, is credited with crafting the modern language and concepts for describing structure and dynamics of condensed matter, especially complex systems with disorder and heterogeneity, such as liquids, glasses and biological assemblies.

Studies of systems far from equilibrium

He also developed the methods by which rare but important events can be simulated with computers, techniques that culminated in his development of a statistical physics of trajectory space. This work enabled his studies of systems far from equilibrium, including processes of self-assembly and the glass transition. Importantly, he founded and/or took active roles in several regular scientific symposia that gave space to creative thinking in these fields and spawned a new generation of scientific discovery. 

Professor Chandler was due to visit us to give this year's annual Linnett Lecture. Sadly, he lost his 20-year battle with prostate cancer before he could do so. It was subsequently decided that in the lieu of the lecture, we would hold a Linnett Memorial Symposium at which speakers would remember the scientist who had so much influence on their work.

Symposium on 13th April

The Linnett Visiting Professor of Chemistry was established in 1993 in memory of John Wilfrid Linnett, who was noted for his wide research interests throughout his distinguished career in chemistry. Linnett was a Professor of Physical Chemistry, President of the Faraday Society, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

The Linnett Symposium will take place on Friday 13th April, from 11:00 - 18:00. The event is open to anyone who would like to attend.

Speakers will include:

  • Dr Céline Merlet, Darwin College Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Chemistry
  • Professor Christoph Dellago, Professor of Computational Physics, University of Vienna
  • Professor Iris Antes, Professor for Protein Modelling, Technical University of Munich
  • Professor Juan P. Garrahan, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham
  • Dr Lester Hedges, Research Software Engineer, University of Bristol
  • Professor Pieter Rein ten Wolde, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam
  • Professor Berend Smit, Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Simulation, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
  • Dr Benjamin Rotenberg, CNRS researcher in the laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Electrolytes, Colloids and Analytical Sciences (PECSA, UPMC/CNRS/ESPCI ParisTech)
  • Professor Tuomas Knowles, Department of Chemistry
  • Dr Ulf Pedersen, theoretical condensed matter physicist, Roskilde University, Denmark