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.

Areas of Interest:
Theoretical condensed matter physics
Nonlinear dynamics and control theory
Statistical mechanics in nonequilibrium systems
Complex Boolean networks
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. Jalali, P; Zhao, Y; Socolar, JES, Static and dynamic features of granular material failure due to upward pulling of a buried sphere by a slowly increasing force., Soft Matter, vol. 17 no. 10 (March, 2021), pp. 2832-2839 [doi]  [abs].
  2. Zhao, Y; BarĂ©s, J; Socolar, JES, Yielding, rigidity, and tensile stress in sheared columns of hexapod granules., Physical Review. E, vol. 101 no. 6-1 (June, 2020), pp. 062903 (Recognized by an Editor's Suggestion.) [doi]  [abs].
  3. Tian, Z; Shen, C; Li, J; Reit, E; Bachman, H; Socolar, J; Cummer, S; Huang, T, Dispersion Tuning and Route Reconfiguration of Acoustic Waves in Valley Topological Phononic Crystals, Nature Communications, vol. 11 no. 1 (February, 2020), pp. 762 (J.E.S.S consulted on the interpretation of experimental results, suggested additional studies needed for clarifying key features, and made substantial contributions to the preparation of the manuscript. The primary faculty supervisors of the project were MEMS professors S. A. Cummer and T. J. Huang.) [doi]  [abs] [author's comments].
  4. Carlevaro, CM; Kozlowski, R; Pugnaloni, LA; Zheng, H; Socolar, JES; Kondic, L, Intruder in a two-dimensional granular system: Effects of dynamic and static basal friction on stick-slip and clogging dynamics., Physical Review. E, vol. 101 no. 1-1 (January, 2020), pp. 012909 [doi]  [abs].
  5. R. Kozlowski, H. Zheng, K. E. Daniels, J. E. S. Socolar, Particle dynamics in point-loaded granular media composed of circular or polygonal grains, Powders and Grains 2021 Proceedings (Submitted, 2020)  [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;
  • 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