Arieh Ben-Naim (Hebrew: אריה בן-נאים)(Jerusalem, 11 July 1934) is a professor of physical chemistry who retired in 2003 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has made major contributions over 40 years to the theory of the structure of water, aqueous solutions and hydrophobic-hydrophilic interactions. He is mainly concerned with theoretical and experimental aspects of the general theory of liquids and solutions. In recent years, he has advocated the use of information theory to better understand and advance statistical mechanics and thermodynamics.
Contributions to the theory of liquids
Books written by Arieh Ben-Naim on the theory of liquids:
- Water and Aqueous Solutions: Introduction to a Molecular Theory. 1974, ISBN 030630774X (out of print).
- Hydrophobic Interactions. 1980, ISBN 978-0-306-40222-7.
- Molecular Theory of Solutions. 2006, ISBN 978-0-19-929970-6.
- Molecular Theory of Water and Aqueous Solutions: Understanding Water. 2009, ISBN 978-981-283-760-8.
- Entropy and the Second Law: Interpretation and Misss-Interpretationsss. 2012, ISBN 978-9-814-40755-7.
Contributions in statistical mechanics in terms of information theory
Arieh Ben-Naim is a modern antagonist of the term entropy. He advocates abandoning the word entropy altogether, and replacing it with missing information. He also indicates that the Kelvin temperature scale artificially introduces the units of thermodynamic entropy. Because this temperature scale was introduced before the atomic, microscopic nature of matter was widely accepted, the Boltzmann constant was necessary. S=kBlog(W) could be expressed simply as S = log(W) if the energy units for temperature kBT were used.
An example of the insight that information theory can bring to statistical mechanics is the rederivation of the Sackur-Tetrode equation. It results from stacking the missing information due to four terms: positional uncertainty, momenta uncertainty, quantum mechanical uncertainty principle and the indistinguishability of the particles.
Books written by Arieh Ben-Naim on entropy and statistical mechanics include:
- Entropy Demystified: The Second Law Reduced to Plain Common Sense. 2008, ISBN 978-981-283-225-2.
- A farewell to entropy: Statistical thermodynamics based on information. 2008, ISBN 978-981-270-707-9.
- Discover Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. 2010, ISBN 978-981-4299-75-6.
- The Briefest History of Time. 2016, ISBN 978-981-4749-84-8.