Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

MAE 297 Seminar – Professor Anthony Wexler

Professor Anthony Wexler
UC Davis Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Statistical Mechanics of Solutions and Surfaces


Highly concentrated solutions containing multiple solutes have been challenging to model. Traditional semi-empirical models are able to represent solution thermodynamics at low concentrations where data are available but these models go bonkers when extrapolated beyond the available data. Likewise, traditional models of surface tension are not able to represent the surface tension – activity relationship to high concentration.

We have used statistical mechanics to derive new expressions for solution and surface thermodynamics that are accurate over the full concentration range, from pure solvent to pure solute. Since these models employ the same assumptions and tools, they blur the distinction between solutions and surfaces providing new insight into how molecules arrange themselves. 

In this talk, I will explain how we obtained both solution and surface isotherms and show comparisons between the model and measurements. Ultimately, these isotherms will be incorporated into our E-AIM thermodynamics web site so that users worldwide can easily calculate the bulk and surface properties of the aqueous and organic phases of solutions relevant to air pollution and climate change.

About the Speaker  

Dr. Wexler obtained his BS from UC Berkeley, SM from MIT and PhD from Caltech. He was a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware from 1990 to 2000 when he joined the University of California, Davis in the departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Land, Air and Water Resources. He is director of the Air Quality Research Center and Crocker Nuclear Laboratory at UC Davis. His research focusses on atmospheric particles related to air pollution, climate change and human health.

Date(s) - 05/08/2014
4:10 pm - 5:00 pm

1062 Bainer Classroom


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