MIT Chemistry Directory

John M Deutch

Institute Professor and Professor of Chemistry

Professor Deutch's research applies statistical mechanics to equilibrium and time dependent problems in physical chemistry. Emphasis is placed on developing techniques that permit the quantitative understanding of a wide variety of phenomena. Three distinct areas of research are under investigation.

One area is the theory of dilute and concentrated polymer solutions with attention placed on understanding the frictional properties of these solutions, for example, diffusion and viscous flow. Recent efforts have been directed to modeling the solution as fluid in a porous medium; to investigating polymer behavior in constrained spaces, such as, pores or thin films; and to applying the renormalization group technique to polymer problems.

A second area of interest involves two-dimensional chemistry. This work includes study of the chemistry that takes place in constrained environments such as at fluid interfaces, inside cells, and in liquid crystal solvents, where the environment influences both the equilibrium distribution of particles and their dynamic motion. Most recently, a theory has been developed to predict the equilibrium shape of lipid bilayers (both on surfaces and in three dimensional vesciles) based on the competition between surface tension and dipolar forces.

Recently Published
The Future of Nuclear Power - The 2009 Update to the 2003 Report
The Future of Coal: An Interdisciplinary MIT Study (2007)

The third area concerns the theory of diffusion controlled reactions. Here the interest is in studying situations that arise frequently in practice but are not correctly described by conventional theory. A specific example is the enhancement in chemical rates that can be realized by modifying the dynamical pathways available for reactants to find each other.

In recent years, John Deutch's research interests have turned to physical chemistry and energy technology. Currently a major project is underway to analyze and model fuel cell behavior including technical, economic, and environmental aspects of these systems. A comprehensive interdisciplinary faculty study of the future of nuclear power has recently been updated (a download link is available at the study site; see inset) and the follow-on faculty study, The Future of Coal (including CO2 capture and sequestration) is now available.

Contact Information

t: 6172531479
e: JMD@MIT.EDU

Office

6-215

Education

B.A. 1961, AMHERST COLLEGE
B.Sc. 1961, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT)
Ph.D. 1965, MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT)

Administrative Assistant

Peter Giunta

Email: pgiunta@mit.edu

Tel: (617) 253-2457

Room 6-215
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139