The study of surfaces has experienced dramatic growth over the past decade. Now, the editors of the internationally celebrated series Advances in Chemical Physics have brought together in this self-contained, special topic volume contributions from leading researchers in the field treating some of the most crucial aspects of the experimental and theoretical study of surfaces. This work delves into such core issues as: Kinetics and dynamics of hydrogen adsorption on silicon surfaces. Potential energy surfaces of transition- metal-catalyzed chemical reactions.
High-resolution helium atom scattering as a proof of surface vibrations. Ordering and phase transitions in adsorbed monolayers of diatomic molecules. The influence of dimensionality on static and dynamic properties of a system. New applications to fields as varied as catalysts and the passage of molecules through membranes. This valuable resource provides important insights into the current state of knowledge about surface properties. Prigogine and Rice’s latest work will stimulate the imagination and motivate the exploration of other aspects of this fascinating subject.
Ilya Prigogine (1917-2003) was a Russian-born naturalized Belgian physical chemist and Nobel Laureate noted for his work on dissipative structures, complex systems, and irreversibility. This 1980 book was perhaps his first work intended for a "general reader" (see his Order Out of Chaos, Is Future Given?, and The End of Certainty for later, easier-to-read books).He has three main theses: (1) "irreversible processes are as REAL as reversible ones." (2) "irreversible processes play a fundamental CONSTRUCTIVE role in the physical world.&
" (3) "irreversibility is deeply rooted in dynamics." He adds, "This formulation leads to a unified picture that enables us to relate many aspects of our observations of physical systems to biological ones. The intention is not to ‘reduce’ physics and biology to a single scheme, but to clearly define the various levels of description and to present conditions that permit us to pass from one level to another."One of his key paragraphs (pg. 83-84) is this: "Biological order is both architectural and functional; furthermore, at the cellular and supercellular levels, it manifests itself by a series of structures and coupled functions of growing complexity and hierarchical character. This is contrary to the concept of evolution as described in the thermodynamics of isolated systems, which leads simply … to ‘disorder.’ … The unexpected new feature is that nonequilibrium may … lead to a new type of structure, the DISSIPATIVE structures, which are essential in the understanding of coherence and organization in the nonequilibrium world in which we live."