John D. Weeks

University of Maryland, College Park

Election Year: 2009
Primary Section: 33, Applied Physical Sciences
Secondary Section: 14, Chemistry
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

Recent research in my group has focused on two main areas. The first studies static and dynamic properties of interfaces, concentrating in particular on theories of crystal growth and the dynamics of steps on crystal surfaces under nonequilibrium driving forces. We have developed general theories describing step bunching instabilities and patterns that form when an array of steps is heated by a direct electric current or when their motion is perturbed locally by impurities with various properties. The second area deals with properties of inhomogeneous and confined fluids. We are trying to develop a new and general treatment of the long-ranged Coulomb interactions in nonuniform ionic and dipolar fluids (water in particular) by mapping properties of these systems to those of a simpler mimic system, with short-ranged intermolecular interactions but in an effective single-particle field that takes account of the averaged effects of the long-ranged interactions. These ideas may provide a better understanding of hydrophobic interactions and solvation in water and may lead to more efficient computer simulations of charged systems.

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