Statistical mechanics and thermodynamics form an essential link between the properties of molecules and the behaviour of macroscopic matter. Statistical mechanics can provide an exact synthesis of microscopic length and time scales through the mesoscopic or colloidal domain to the everyday world . This theoretical science is directly relevant to the development of a wide range of 21st century technologies under titles such as molecular engineering, smart materials and nano technology.
A key aspect of all this work is that it is very much an interdisciplinary enterprise, embracing synthetic chemistry, physical chemistry, physics, polymer science, biology, food science, materials and engineering. In all of this, the only route to a predictive science linking the properties of molecules with the behaviour of the finished product is that based on statistical mechanics.