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Dr David Lavis

DavidLavisTelephone: +44 020 7848 2240


Office: K4U.25, King's Building, Strand Campus

Personal Website


to be added.

Research Interests

Since David's formal retirement his main area of interest has moved towards the foundations of statistical mechanics. In particular David is interested in exploring the nature of irreversibility and equilibrium. In the first of two recent papers he has reexamined the role played by the spin-echo system in discussions of these questions. In the second he has argued that, in order to reconcile the Boltzmann and Gibbs approaches to statistical mechanics, it is necessary to abandon the binary property of being or not being in equilibrium in favour of a continuous property which he calls 'commonness'.

In the past series expansion methods have been used with one expansion parameter and numerical coefficients to obtain critical properties at one point in phase space. The object of David's research with B. W. Southern of the University of Manitoba is to provide the beginning of a general methodology for using series to explore the whole of the phase space. They are using the finite-lattice method to develop series where the coefficients are polynomial functions of the Boltzmann factors for a number of other couplings. They are currently investigating a modified three-state Potts model on a triangular lattice with a chiral term around each triangle. This chiral term is of particular interest as it forms the basis for the development of lattice models with directional bonding. These have been used to simulate water-like behaviour.

Selection of Publications

Boltzmann, Gibbs and the concept of equilibrium

(2008) Philosophy of Science, 75, 682-696

Equilibrium and (ir)reversibility in classical statistical mechanics

(2007) In `Frontiers in Fundamental Physics’,Vol. 3, Ed. B. G. Sidarth, Universities Press, India.

Boltzmann and Gibbs: an attempted reconciliation

(2005) Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 36, 245--273.

The spin-echo system reconsidered

(2004) Foundations of Physics,34, 669-688.

A more complete list can be found here.

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