© 2018

Brownian Motion

Elements of Colloid Dynamics


Part of the Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics book series (ULNP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 1-8
  3. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 9-20
  4. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 21-45
  5. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 47-60
  6. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 61-70
  7. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 71-91
  8. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 93-103
  9. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 105-120
  10. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 121-132
  11. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 133-146
  12. Albert P. Philipse
    Pages 147-154
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 155-178

About this book


This textbook is an introduction to the Brownian motion of colloids and nano-particles, and the diffusion of molecules.

 One very appealing aspect of Brownian motion, as this book illustrates, is that the subject connects a broad variety of topics, including thermal physics, hydrodynamics, reaction kinetics, fluctuation phenomena, statistical thermodynamics, osmosis and colloid science.

 The book is based on a set of lecture notes that the authors used for an undergraduate course at the University of Utrecht, Netherland. It aims to provide more than a simplified qualitative description of the subject, without getting bogged down in difficult mathematics.

Each chapter contains exercises, ranging from straightforward ones to more involved problems, addressing instances from (thermal motion in) chemistry, physics and life sciences. Exercises also deal with derivations or calculations that are skipped in the main text.

The book offers a treatment of Brownian motion on a level appropriate for bachelor/undergraduate students of physics, chemistry, soft matter and the life sciences. PhD students attending courses and doing research in colloid science or soft matter will also benefit from this book.


Understanding colloidal suspentions Thermal diffusion Stokes-Einstein diffusion coefficient Fick's law Viscous flow Darcy's law Physical chemistry of colloidal solutions introduction to colloidal soft matter Softmatter textbook

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Van ’t Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry, Debye Institute for Nano-Materials ScienceUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

About the authors

Albert P. Philipse (1956) studied chemistry and philosophy at Utrecht University and achieved his PhD (1987) in colloid science, with a thesis on light scattering from concentrated dispersions of charged silica spheres. At the Energy Research Center (ECN, The Netherlands), he lead projects on colloidal processing of technical ceramics and inorganic foams. In 1991 he joined the Van’ t Hoff Laboratory for Physical and Colloid Chemistry at Utrecht University where he is full professor of Physical Chemistry since 1994. Albert’s main research interests are the chemical synthesis, thermodynamics and physical transport properties of dispersions of charged, magnetic and non-spherical  colloids.

Albert was Director of Chemical Education in 2006-2009 and is since 2016 Director of the master program Nano-Materials Science of Utrecht University. He teaches physical chemistry, thermodynamics and colloid science on bachelor, master and PhD level. He also has a teaching assignment in history of chemistry, and delivers guest lectures in primary and secondary schools. In addition to colloid science, Albert’s enthusiasms include music, travelling, cooking, and Ancient Greek.

Bibliographic information

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