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
BA, Haverford College, Haverford, PA, 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

Teaching (Spring 2017):

  • Physics 161d.001, Fundamentals of physics i Synopsis
    Physics 154, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
  • Physics 161d.01d, Fundamentals of physics i Synopsis
    Physics 154, W 01:15 PM-03:15 PM

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Hann, CT; Socolar, JES; Steinhardt, PJ, Local growth of icosahedral quasicrystalline tilings, Physical Review B, vol. 94 no. 1 (July, 2016) [1604.02479v1], [doi]  [abs].
  2. Marcoux, C; Socolar, JES, Sparse phonon modes of a limit-periodic structure, Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, vol. 93 no. 17 (May, 2016), American Physical Society [PhysRevB.93.174102], [doi]  [abs].
  3. Fu, L; Steinhardt, W; Zhao, H; Socolar, JE; Charbonneau, P, Hard sphere packings within cylinders., Soft Matter, vol. 12 no. 9 (March, 2016), pp. 2505-2514 [doi]  [abs].
  4. Marcoux, C; Byington, TW; Qian, Z; Charbonneau, P; Socolar, JES, Erratum: Emergence of limit-periodic order in tiling models [Phys. Rev. E 90 , 012136 (2014)], Physical review. E, vol. 93 no. 2 (February, 2016) [doi] .
  5. Yang, Y; Fu, L; Marcoux, C; Socolar, JE; Charbonneau, P; Yellen, BB, Phase transformations in binary colloidal monolayers., Soft Matter, vol. 11 no. 12 (March, 2015), pp. 2404-2415 [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;
  • 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. Dynamics of Random Networks and Boolean Models, June 28, 2009, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA