Scientific articles in the field of physics are mostly very short and deal with a very limited topic. An extraordinary exception to this is an article recently published by physicists from the Universities of Münster and Düsseldorf. The article is 127 pages long, cites a total of 1,075 sources, and deals with a wide range of branches of physics – from biophysics to quantum mechanics.
The article is a so-called summary article and was written by physicists Michael Vrugt and Prof. Raphael Wittkowski from the Institute of Theoretical Physics and the Center for Mild Nanoscience in University of Münster, together with Prof. Hartmut Löwen from the Institute for Theoretical Physics II at the University of Düsseldorf. The purpose of such review articles is to provide an introduction to a particular subject area and to summarize and evaluate the current state of research in this area for the benefit of other researchers.
“In our case we are dealing with a theory used in many fields – the so-called functional dynamic density theory (DDFT),” explains recent author Raphael Wittkowski. “Since we deal with all aspects of the topic, the article turned out to be very long and wide-ranging.”
DDFT is a method for describing systems consisting of a large number of interacting particles such as those found in liquids, for example. Understanding these systems is important in many research areas such as chemistry, solid state physics or biophysics. This in turn leads to a wide variety of applications for DDFT, for example in materials science and biology.
“DDFT and similar methods have been developed and applied by a number of researchers in a variety of contexts,” says lead author Michael in Vrugt. “We have investigated which approaches exist and how they are related – and to that end we have had to do a lot of work acting as historians and detectives,” he adds.
The article was published in the magazine Advances in Physics, which has an impact factor of 30.91 – making it the most important journal in the field of condensed matter physics. Publishes only four to six articles a year. The first article on DDFT, written by Robert Evans, was also published in “Advances in Physics” in 1979. “It makes me especially happy that our review has also been published in this journal,” says co-author Hartmut Löwen. “It deals with all the important theoretical aspects and areas of application of DDFT and will probably become a standard job in our field of research.”
Reference: “Functional theory of classical dynamic density: from the basics to applications” by Michael Vrugt, Hartmut Löwen and Raphael Wittkowski, December 20, 2020, Advances in Physics.
DOI: 10.1080 / 00018732.2020.1854965
The Wittkowski Working Group is being funded by the German DFG Research Foundation (WI 4170 / 3-1). The Löwen Working Group is also receiving financial support from the DFG (LO 418 / 25-1).