Hi. My name is Michael de Podesta and I am the author of Understanding the Properties of Matter. I wrote the forst 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 stopped working at NPL in April 2020 and am now considering whether I have the stamina for a third edition.
I still love the book! I think it has many great ideas and communicates in a way that many books fail to. This site is my attempt to keep the text alive and up-to-date and relevant.
Feel free to get in touch.