Michael de Podesta


Hi. My name is Michael de Podesta and I am the author of Understanding the Properties of Matter. I wrote the first Edition in 1996 and finished the second edition in 2000 at the same time as I switched jobs out of academia and into the UK’s National Physical Laboratory.

At NPL I worked on many projects related to temperature measurement, including measurements of the Boltzmann constant that contributed to the re-definition of the kelvin in 2019. I also helped to build the world’s most accurate thermometer – it measures the errors in all the other thermometers on Earth!

I retired in April 2020 and am now engaged in all kinds of projects. Re-reading the book recently I thought the book – and the ideas behind it – were still good. However the work involved in a third edition is probably too great for me to attempt. Instead, I have released the text of the book as a free pdf, and am currently (March 2021) updating the teaching resources for the text. You can of course still buy the book in the regular way.

I still love the book! I think it has many great ideas and communicates in a way that many books fail to. Feel free to get in touch.

Michael de Podesta 

March 2021