Joshua Socolar, Professor  

Joshua Socolar

Office Location: 096 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: (919) 660-2557
Email Address:
Web Page:

Nonlinear dynamics and complex systems
Theoretical condensed matter physics
Biological physics

Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1987
B.A., Haverford College, 1980

Research Categories: Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics; Nonlinear Dynamics; Systems Biology

Research Description: Prof. Socolar is interested in the principles that determine collective behavior in condensed matter and dynamical systems. His current research interests include:

  • Organization and function of complex dynamical networks, especially biological networks, but also including electronic circuits and social interaction networks;
  • Mechanistic models of genetic regulatory networks;
  • Limit-periodic structures, quasicrystals, packing problems, and tiling theory.
  • Self-assembly of colloidal particles with designed interactions.
  • Shear jamming and stick-slip dynamics in dry granular materials.

Areas of Interest:
Theoretical condensed matter physics
Nonlinear dynamics and control theory
Statistical mechanics in nonequilibrium systems
Complex Boolean networks
Granular materials
Genetic regulatory networks
Aperiodic Tilings
Duke Center for Systems Biology
Center for Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences
Center for Nonlinear and Complex Systems
Duke Network Analysis Center
Program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Kozlowski, R; Zheng, H; Daniels, KE; Socolar, JES, Stick-Slip Dynamics in a Granular Material With Varying Grain Angularity, Frontiers in Physics, vol. 10 (July, 2022) [doi]  [abs].
  2. Zhao, Y; Wang, D; Zheng, H; Chakraborty, B; Socolar, JES, Ultrastable Shear-Jammed Granular Material, Physical Review X, vol. 12 no. 3 (July, 2022), American Physical Society (APS) [doi]  [abs].
  3. Pugnaloni, LA; Carlevaro, CM; Kozlowski, R; Zheng, H; Kondic, L; Socolar, JES, Universal features of the stick-slip dynamics of an intruder moving through a confined granular medium., Physical Review. E, vol. 105 no. 4 (April, 2022), pp. L042902 [doi]  [abs].
  4. Kluge, L; Socolar, JES; Schöll, E, Random logic networks: From classical Boolean to quantum dynamics., Physical Review. E, vol. 104 no. 6-1 (December, 2021), pp. 064308 [2108.10813], [doi]  [abs] [author's comments].
  5. Kozlowski, R; Zheng, H; Daniels, KE; Socolar, JES, Stress propagation in locally loaded packings of disks and pentagons., Soft Matter, vol. 17 no. 44 (November, 2021), pp. 10120-10127 [doi]  [abs].

Prof. Socolar is interested in collective behavior in condensed matter and dynamical systems. His current research interests include:

  • Limit-periodic structures, quasicrystals, packing problems, and tiling theory;
  • Self-assembly and phases of designed colloidal particles;
  • Shear jamming and stick-slip behavior in dry granular materials;
  • Organization and dynamics of complex networks;
  • Topological elasticity of mechanical lattices.

For more information, see Prof. Socolar's Home Page.

Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

    Postdocs Mentored

    • Xianrui Cheng (September 01, 2012 - March 01, 2013)  
    • Volkan Sevim (March, 2008 - August, 2010)  
    • Bjorn Samuelsson (November, 2005 - August 31, 2007)  
    Selected Invited Lectures

    1. Autonomous Boolean modeling of gene regulatory networks, May 07, 2012, Mathematical Biosciences Institute, Ohio State U.    
    2. Hierarchical freezing in a limit-periodic structure, October 15, 2011, Princeton Center for Theoretical Science    
    3. Periodicity and chaos in delayed Boolean networks, July 19, 2011, ICIAM Conference, Vancouver, Canada    
    4. Relaxation to a limit-periodic ground state, May 23, 2011, Haverford College, Haverford, PA    
    5. Autonomous Boolean Models, June 28, 2009, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA