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 Goethe-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