CNCS Center for Nonlinear and Complex Systems
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Robert P. Behringer, James B. Duke Professor of Physics and CNCS: Center for nonlinear and complex systems

Robert P. Behringer

Dr. Behringer's research interests include granular materials: friction, earthquakes, jamming; nonlinear dynamics; and fluids: Rayleigh-Benard convection, the flow of thin liquid films, porous media flow, and quantum fluids. His studies focus particularly on experiments (with some theory/simulation) that yield new insights into the dynamics and complex behavior of these systems. His experiments involve a number of highly novel approaches, including the use of photoelasticity for probing granular systems, innovative experiments to characterize the stability of surface flows and properties of gels, and magnetic resonance imaging to study flows in porous media.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  095 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-2550
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2018):

    Physics 154, MW 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as COMPSCI 524.01, NCS 513.01)

Ph.D.Duke University1975

Experimental condensed matter physics
Nonlinear dynamics and complex systems
Research Interests: Condensed Matter

Professor Robert P. Behringer is a James B. Duke Professor of Physics. Dr. Behringer's research interests include nonlinear dynamics and low-temperature physics. His studies of nonlinear dynamics include experiments on granular flow, on convection in liquid helium, as well as room temperature fluids, and on convection in porous media. His group has recently pioneered the use of magnetic resonance imaging and novel optical techniques to study flows in porous media. Novel experiments on the flow of granular materials such as sand have yielded new insights into the dynamics of this complex, technically important and intriguing system. Other experiments probe pattern formation phenomena in shear flows and in film flows. Experiments in low-temperature physics probe the unusual and striking properties of superfluid helium.


Air • Biophysical Phenomena • Biophysics • Cereals • Colloids • Computer Graphics • Creep • Diffusion • Electron gas • Gases • Granular materials • Hall effect • Heterostructures • Hydrogel • Impact • Kinetics • Linear Models • Magnetoresistance • Models, Chemical • Models, Theoretical • Motion • Movement • Particle Size • Photoelasticity • Physical Phenomena • Physics • Radiation • Rheology • Shear Strength • Specimen Handling • Stress, Mechanical • Time Factors • Vibration • Video Recording • Waves

Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Yuchen Zhao  
  • Yue Zhang  
  • Aghil Abed Zadeh  
  • Dong Wang  
  • Eric Sia  
  • Peidong Yu  
Postdocs Mentored

  • Jonathan Bares (November 10, 2013 - present)  
  • Nicolas Brodu (October 1, 2012 - April 01, 2014)  
  • Joshua Dijksman (March 1, 2010 - February 01, 2014)  
  • Jie Zhang (2005 - January 01, 2010)  
  • Matthias Sperl (August, 2004 - November 28, 2006)  
  • Jean-Philippe Matas (2003/12-present)  
  • Brian Utter (2002/12-present)  
  • Karen Daniels (2002/12-present)  
  • Jeanman Sur (2002/12-present)  
  • Scott Paulson (2002/12-present)  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Barés, J; Wang, D; Wang, D; Bertrand, T; O'Hern, CS; Behringer, RP, Local and global avalanches in a two-dimensional sheared granular medium., Physical review. E, vol. 96 no. 5-1 (November, 2017), pp. 052902 [doi]  [abs]
  2. Lim, MX; Barés, J; Zheng, H; Behringer, RP, Force and Mass Dynamics in Non-Newtonian Suspensions., Physical Review Letters, vol. 119 no. 18 (November, 2017), pp. 184501 [doi]  [abs]
  3. Lim, MX; Behringer, RP, Topology of force networks in granular media under impact, EPL (Europhysics Letters), vol. 120 no. 4 (November, 2017) [doi]  [abs]
  4. Bester, CS; Behringer, RP, Collisional model of energy dissipation in three-dimensional granular impact., Physical review. E, vol. 95 no. 3-1 (March, 2017), pp. 032906 [doi]  [abs]
  5. Zhao, Y; Barés, J; Zheng, H; Behringer, R, Tuning strain of granular matter by basal assisted Couette shear, edited by Radjai, F; Nezamabadi, S; Luding, S; Delenne, J, EPJ Web of Conferences, vol. 140 (2017), pp. 03049-03049 [doi]