Carnegie Mellon University Department of Chemistry
photo of Gary D. Patterson

Gary D. Patterson


Carnegie Mellon University


Phone: (412) 268-3324

Fax: (412) 268-1061

Office: Mellon Institute 417


Faculty & Research

Gary D. Patterson


Research Areas

Polymer Science, Colloid Science, Chemistry and Physics of Liquids and Complex Fluids, Light Scattering, History and Philosophy of Chemistry

Polymer Science

The structure and dynamics of macromolecular systems are studied using light scattering and statistical mechanics.  Individual polymers and macromolecular aggregates are examined in dilute solution. The structure of polymer solutions is determined as a function of concentration. The dynamics of the glass transition are studied over fifteen orders of magnitude in time. A recent book on Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules is now in print.

History and Philosophy of Chemistry

An ongoing project is being carried out at the Chemical Heritage Foundation on the history of polymer science. The book is entitled “Paradigms in Polymer Science.” The history of chemistry and of books about chemistry is being pursued from Greek times to the present. Current bibliophile projects include a study of Jean Perrin and his Landmark Book: Les Atomes. A History of Polymer Science at the Mellon Institute has been presented.

Education and Appointments
1984–present Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
1972–1984 Member of Technical Staff, Chemical Physics, AT&T Bell Laboratories
1972 Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, Stanford University
Awards and Distinctions

President, Bolton Society


Charles C. Price Fellow of the Chemical Heritage Foundation

1981  National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiatives in Research
1981  American Physical Society Fellow
1981  Royal Society of Chemistry Fellow 
Selected Publications

Gary D. Patterson, "Les Atomes: A Landmark Book in Chemistry" Foundations of Chemistry, 2010.

Gary D. Patterson, "Eyes to See: Physical Evidence for Atoms" ACS Symposium Volume "200 Years of atoms: From Dalton to the Present" 2010

Gary D. Patterson, "The Emergence of the Macromolecular Paradigm in the World of Chemistry" Ambix 2009

Gary D. Patterson, "Jean Perrin and the triumph of the atomic doctrine" Endeavor 2007

Gary Patterson , “Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules” Taylor and Francis, New York 2006.

R. S. Francis, G. D. Patterson, S. H. Kim; “Liquid-like structure of polymer solutions near the overlap concentration” 2006, Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 44, 703–710

Daniel A. Savin, Gary D. Patterson, James R. Stevens; “Evidence for the Y-relaxation in the light scattering spectra of poly (n-hexl methacrylate) near the glass transition” 2005, Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 43, 1504–1519

Zhenyu Gu, Gary Patterson, Rong Cao, Bruce Armitage, "Self-assembled Supramolecular microgels: Fractal Structure and Aggregation Mechanism", Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, 2003, Volume 41 Issue 23, 3037–3046