Michael Wertheim

  • Professor Emeritus
  • BA, Cornell University, 1952
  • MS, Yale University, 1956
  • PhD, Yale University, 1957


Professor Wertheim obtained his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Yale University in 1957 and began his professional career at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (1956- 1970). He came to MTU from Rutgers University in 1990. He has held several visiting appointments, including one as Visiting Professor at the Geothe-Universitat in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 1970-1971.
He is known for the fundamental advances he has contributed to the theory of fluids, including the solution of the Percus-Yevick equation, the analytic solution of the mean spherical model for dipolar fluids, and the creation of a highly successful theory of associating and polymerizing fluids. All of these results have been seminal in resulting in many follow-up publications by other authors. His theory of associating fluids is widely used by chemical engineers because of its enormous practical success when applied to chemical systems for which previously no adequate theoretical treatment existed.
The importance of his work is attested to by the several thousand citations listed in the citation index.
Professor Wertheim has been an invited speaker at a number of prestigious conferences, including the Liblice International Conference in Statistical Mechanics in 1990 and 1994. In 1986 he conducted a sic-week mini-course in dielectric theory at the University of Puerto Rico, sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). He was an invited speaker at the Midwest Thermodynamics Symposium in 1992, and organized the symposium in Houghton in 1993.
Professor Wertheim has served in the Physics Department for thirteen years as a highly productive researcher and respected teacher. He has taught a large variety of courses in the Physics Department, including five of the department's graduate courses.


  • Fluids with chemical reaction, small molecules, and hard convex molecules
  • Solvation forces

Professional Experience

  • 1978-present, Mathematics Department, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, research scientist.
  • 1974-1978, Physics Department, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, research associate and visiting associate professor.
  • 1973-1974, Theoretical Physics Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, visiting scientist.
  • 1971-1972, Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Science Research Council Senior Visiting Fellow.
  • 1970-1971, Institut fur Theoretische Physikalische Chemie, Universitat Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Federal Republic of Germany, visiting professor.
  • 1956-1970, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) of the University of California, Los Alamos, New Mexico, staff member, Theoretical Division.
  • 1962-1964, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, New York, New York, visiting scientist (on leave from LASL).

Visiting Positions

  • June-September 1968 and 1969, H. C. 0rsted Institute, Chemistry III, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, visiting lecturer (on leave from LASL).
  • April-August 1965, Laboratoire de Physique Theorique et des Hautes Energies, Universite de Paris, Orsay, France, visiting professor (on leave from LASL).


  • Isotope Shift in X-ray Spectra of Heavy Elements (with G.Igo), Phys. Rev. 2-2_, 1097 (1954), letter.
  • Isotope Shift in the X-ray Spectra of Heavy Elements (with G. Igo), Phys. Rev. 98. 1 (1955).
  • High Energy Proton-Proton Scattering and the Levy Potential (with M. H. ijull, Jr. and A. M. Saperstein), Phys. Rev. 104, 764 (1956).
  • Exact Solution of the Percus-Yevick Integral Equation for Hard Spheres, Phys. Rev. Lett. l...Q_, 321 (1963).
  • Analytic Solution of the Percus-Yevick Equation, J. Math. Phys. 2, 643 (1964).
  • New Model for Classical Fluids. I., J. Chem. Phys. 43. 1370 (1965).
  • Integral Equations in the Theory of Classical Fluids, J.Math. Phys. 8. 927 (1967).
  • New Model for Classical Fluids. II., J. Chem. Phys. 46, 2551 (1967)
  • Phase Diagram and pV-Isotherms of Argon (with M. Henderson), J. Chem. Phys. 21_, 5420 (1969).
  • Three-Particle Correlation Functions. I. Fourier Transform Methods, J. Chem. Phys. 53, 4358 (1970).
  • xact Solution of the Mean Spherical Model for Fluids of Hard Spheres with Permanent Electric Dipole Moments, J. Chem. Phys. 22, 4291 (1971).
  • Dielectric constant of non-polar fluids, Mol. Phys. 25. 211 (1973).
  • Theory of polar fluids. I., Mol. Phys. 26, 1425 (1973).
  • Correlations in the liquid-vapor interface, Phys . .22_, 2377 (1976).
  • Theory of polar fluids. II., Mol. Phys. 33, 95 (1977).
  • Theory of polar fluids. III., Mol. Phys. 34 1109 (1977).
  • Theory of polar fluids. IV. Fluctuations and inequalities, Mol. Phys. 36. 1217 (1978).
  • Theory of polar fluids. V. Thermodynamics and thermo­dynamic perturbation theory, Mol. Phys. 37., 83 (1979).
  • Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics of Polar Fluids, Ann. Rev. Phys. Chem . 30 471 (1979). (Review paper).
  • Simulation, perturbation theory, and integral equations for dimerizing systems (with G. 0. Williams), in preparation.
  • Thermodynamic perturbation theory of polymerization, J. Chem. Phys. 87, 7323 (1987).
  • Factorization of the direct correlation function. III. Integral equations and thermodynamics, J. Chem. Phys. 88. 1214 (1988).
  • Integral equation for the Smith-Nezbeda model of associated fluids, J. Chem. Phys. 88, 1145 (1988).
  • Statistical mechanics of hard, convex molecules, in preparation.
  • Statistical mechanics of confined systems (with L. Blum and D. Bratko), in preparation.
  • Coincidence theorem for the direct correlation function of hard particle fluids, J. Stat. Phys. 52, 1367 (1988), special issue dedicated to Howard Reiss.-
  • Structure of hard sphere fluids in cylindrical pores (with D. Bratko and L. Blum), J. Chem. Phys., accepted for publication.