David Chandler

Professor Emeritus
Professor of the Graduate School

Department of Chemistry
208/210 Gilman Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1460 USA

(510) 643-6821


David Chandler, pictured here in 2011, received his S.B. degree in Chemistry from MIT in 1966, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Physics at Harvard in 1969.  After a postdoctoral year at the University of California, San Diego, he began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in 1970 at the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois, rising through the ranks to become a full Professor in 1977. Prior to joining the Berkeley faculty in 1986, Chandler spent two years as Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.  At Berkeley, he became the Bruce Mahan Professor, a position he held until retiring from regular teaching duties in 2015.

Chandler's primary area of research is statistical mechanics, which he has used to create molecular theory of condensed matter, especially complex systems with disorder and heterogeneity, such as liquids, glasses and biological assemblies. He provided the modern language and concepts for describing structure and dynamics of polyatomic liquids, a series of contributions that has allowed quantitative and analytical treatments of simple molecular fluids, of aqueous solutions and hydrophobic effects, and of polymeric melts and blends.  He has also developed the methods by which rare but important events can be simulated on computers, techniques that have culminated in Chandler’s development of a statistical mechanics of trajectory space. This work has enabled studies of systems far from equilibrium, including processes of self-assembly and the glass transition.

Chandler has published over 250 research articles.  His influential textbook, Introduction to Modern Statistical Mechanics (Oxford University Press, USA, 1987), is appreciated by students and specialists alike for its novelty and pedagogy.

Click here to visit the Chandler Group Research Page

Recent Lecture Titles by David Chandler:

“Water at hard interfaces."

"Hydrophobicity at small and large length scales: two phases of water"

"Transition pathways in complex systems: throwing ropes over rough mountain passes, in the dark"

"Dynamics and aging on the way to making glass: bubbles in space-time"

"Self-Assembly, where kinetics can trump thermodynamics"

Biography (Click here for a brief narrative.) (Click here to download autobiography published in the David Chandler Festschrift.)

Education and Professional Positions Include:
S.B., MIT (1966); Ph.D., Harvard (1969); Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, San Diego (1969-70); Assist. Professor to Professor, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (1970-1983); Visiting Professor, Columbia University (1977-1978); Professor, University of Pennsylvania (1983-1985); Professor, University of California, Berkeley (1986-2015); Professor Emeritus (2015-); Directeur de Recherche, Laboratoire de Physique, École Normale Supérieure, Lyon (1992); Hinshelwood Lecturer, University of Oxford (1993); Faculty Chemist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (1996-); Visiting Fellow of Merton College, Oxford (2001); Schlumberger Visiting Professor, University of Oxford (2003 and 2004); Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, Executive Committee (2002-2008) and Executive Director (2006-2008); Overseas Visiting Scholar, St. John's College, University of Cambridge (2008 and 2011).

Honors Include:
Sloan Fellow (1972-1974); Elected Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science (1980); Guggenheim Fellow (1981-1982); Elected Fellow, American Physical Society (1982); Bourke Medal and Lecturer, Royal Society of Chemistry (1985); Hildebrand Award for Research on Liquids, American Chemical Society (1989); Flygare Memorial Lecturer, University of Illinois (1989); Miller Research Professor (1991 and 1999-2000); Christianson Fellow of St. Catherine's College, University of Oxford (1993); Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences (1995); Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1995); Theoretical Chemistry Award, American Chemical Society (1996); Journal of Physical Chemistry Centennial Lecturer (1996); Hirschfelder Prize in Theoretical Chemistry, University of Wisconsin (1998); Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Award (1999); Mulliken Award, University of Chicago (2000); Lennard-Jones Lecturer, Royal Society of Chemistry (2001); Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics, American Physical Society (2005); G. B. Kistiakowsky Lecturer, Harvard University (2006); Elected Fellow of the American Chemical Society (2009);  Sackler Lecturer, Tel Aviv University (2009); Chemistry Teaching Award, UC Berkeley (2011);  Liquid Matter Prize, European Physical Society (2011); Elected Foreign Member, The Royal Society (2011); Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry, American Chemical Society (2012).


Includes two books and over 250 scientific papers. (Click here for David Chandler's bibliography)

© David Chandler 2015