James Reid specialises in theoretical and computational molecular science: nonequilibrium systems, fluids and materials.

​My research focuses on developing a better understanding of the behaviour of extremely small, nonequilibrium systems. These systems are inherently interesting as the general rules of thermodynamics break down for systems below the thermodynamic limit, that is systems that contain few particles, and many thermodynamic quantities, such as temperature, are not well defined outside equilibrium.   I also have a background in computational simulation: I use Molecular Dynamics simulations of toy systems to study thermodynamic properties, and real systems to assist experimental groups.

​James Reid graduated with first class honours in law and physics from Victoria University of Wellington, and a PhD from ANU.  He has subsequently worked on complex systems and pattern formation, before undertaking his current research into non-equilibrium thermodynamics and molecular modelling.  He has developed new fluctuation relations and improved the application of existing ones, generalising the derivations of these methods to show how they are connected and simplifying their application to new systems, as well as demonstrating various important relations both computationally and experimentally.  He is a member of the Australian Nanotechnology Network and the Centre for Theoretical and Computational Molecular Science. 


​I have built collaborations within the AIBN and externally with:

Griffith Unviersity (Owen Jepps)

The Australian National Univeristy (Denis Evans)

Key Publications

Fluctuations and irreversibility: An experimental demonstration of a second-law-like theorem using a colloidal particle held in an optical trap\
DM Carberry, JC Reid, GM Wang, EM Sevick, DJ Searles, DJ Evans
Physical review letters 92 (14), 140601 (2004).

The fluctuation theorem and the work relation
JC Reid, EM Sevick, DJ Evans
EPL (Europhysics Letters) 72 (5), 726 (2005).

Communication: Beyond Boltzmann's H-theorem: Demonstration of the relaxation theorem for a non-monotonic approach to equilibrium
JC Reid, DJ Evans, DJ Searles
The Journal of chemical physics 136 (2), 021101 (2012).

The dissipation function: its relationship to entropy production, theorems for nonequilibrium systems and observations on its extrema
JC Reid, SJ Brookes, DJ Evans, DJ Searles
Beyond the Second Law, 31-47 (2014).

Fluctuation relations and the foundations of statistical thermodynamics: a deterministic approach and numerical demonstration
JC Reid, SR Williams, DJ Searles, L Rondoni, DJ Evans
Nonequilibrium Statistical Physics of Small Systems: Fluctuation Relations and Beyond, 57-82 (2013).

Featured projects Duration
Fluctuations in Nanoscale systems
Transport in nanoporous materials