Department of Chemistry
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08540
Frank Stillinger
Frank H. Stillinger

ACS Award in Theoretical Chemistry presented to Frank H. Stillinger

For pioneering computer simulations of water; developing inherent structure theory of liquids and glasses; and profound theoretical insights on water, fluid interfaces, and particle packings

Sponsored by Dell Incorporated

Lecture given at the American Chemical Society Award Meeting April 9, 2013

"Chiral Symmetry Breaking Models for Pre-biotic Environments"

J. Phys. Chem. B -- Frank H. Stillinger Festschrift    Journal of Physical
   Chemistry B
   Frank H. Stillinger

   [Table of Contents]


   Frank's autobiography
   "The factors that capture attention and create long-term interests in young children have been, and will remain, subjects of speculation and debate." (more)


  • Complete Publications List
  • Talks
  • Principal Accomplishments
  • Activities
  • Special Lectures
  • Coauthors
  • Postdoctoral Collaborators
  • Honors and Awards
  • Personal Information


    Energy Landscapes, Inherent   Structures, and Condensed-Matter Phenomena Energy Landscapes, Inherent Structures, and Condensed-Matter Phenomena,
    Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ 2016.

    "This book presents an authoritative and in-depth treatment of potential energy landscape theory, a powerful analytical approach to describing the atomic and molecular interactions in condensed-matter phenomena. Drawing on the latest developments in the computational modeling of many-body systems, Frank Stillinger applies this approach to a diverse range of substances and systems, including crystals, liquids, glasses and other amorphous solids, polymers, and solvent-suspended biomolecules.

    "Stillinger focuses on the topography of the multidimensional potential energy hypersurface created when a large number of atoms or molecules simultaneously interact with one another. He explains how the complex landscape topography separates uniquely into individual 'basins,' each containing a local potential energy minimum or 'inherent structure,' and he shows how to identify interbasin transition states - saddle points - that reside in shared basin boundaries. Stillinger describes how inherent structures and their basins can be classified and enumerated by depth, curvatures, and other attributes, and how those enumerations lead logically from vastly complicated multidimensional landscapes to properties observed in the real three-dimensional world.

    "Essential for practitioners and students across a variety of fields, the book illustrates how this approach applies equally to systems whose nuclear motions are intrinsically quantum mechanical or classical, and provides novel strategies for numerical simulation computations directed toward diverse condensed-matter systems". -- from Amazon website.

    Frank's research interests include molecular theory of water and aqueous solutions; phase transitions; glass physics; geometric aspects of packing problems; energy landscape analyses of condensed-matter phenomena; fundamental aspects of quantum chemistry; molecular models for spontaneous breaking of chiral symmetry and its application to pre-biotic chemistry.
    His current research activities include the structure and kinetics of metastable materials (especially glasses), the theoretical modeling of inverse melting phenomena, and molecular models for spontaneous breaking of chiral symmetry and its application to pre-biotic chemistry.

    Linear tunnel composed of stacked equilateral trivacancies in a hexagonal close-packed crystal of hard spheres.

    His past research activity has involved the molecular theory of water and aqueous solutions, the physical chemistry of solid and liquid surfaces, and atomic and molecular quantum theory. His discoveries include:

    • Critical point confluence phenomena (2018)
    • The perfect glass paradigm (2016)
    • Existence of maximally-disordered jammed packings of monodisperse hard disks (2014).
    • Microscopic model for chiral symmetry breaking (2010).
    • Diamond and wurtzite structures self-assemble with isotropic pair potentials (2007).
    • Statistical mechanical model for inverse melting (2003).
    • Kinetically diverse energy landscapes with identical thermodynamics (2002).
    • Convergence-limiting singularities in atomic and molecular quantum theory (2000).
    • Connection between spinodal curves and mechanical strength of glasses (1997)
    • Long-range broken symmetry in impurity-perturbed disk crystals (1995)
    • Resolution of the translation-rotation paradox in fragile glass formers (1993)
    • Planck's constant expansion for quantum mechanical bound states (1991)
    • Impossibility of "ideal" glass transitions in molecular liquids (1988)
    • Stillinger-Weber potential for silicon (1986)
    • Inverse Lindemann criterion for freezing of liquids (1985)
    • Inherent structure theory for liquids (1981)
    • Axiomatic basis for spaces with fractional dimension (1977)
    • Semiconductor heterostructures supporting bound states in the continuum (1977)
    • "Fast sound" in water (1974)
    • The Stillinger-Lovett second moment identity for electrolytes (1968)
    • Capillary wave theory for liquid interfaces (1965).
    === Last updated 1-30-2021 ===