CNCS Center for Nonlinear and Complex Systems
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Joshua Socolar, Professor of Physics and CNCS: Center for nonlinear and complex systems

Joshua Socolar

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

  • Limit-periodic structures, quasicrystals, packing problems, and tiling theory.
  • Self-assembly of colloidal particles with designed interactions.
  • 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;

Contact Info:
Office Location:  096 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-2557
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:


Ph.D.University of Pennsylvania1987
BAHaverford College, Haverford, PA1980

Nonlinear dynamics and complex systems
Theoretical condensed matter physics
Biological physics
Research Interests: Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics

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 genetic regulatory networks;.
  • The spatial distribution of stresses granular materials (e.g. bins of sand, coal, pills, or grain) and jamming phenomena;
  • Controlling chaos, or understanding feedback mechanisms that can stabilize otherwise unstable ordered behavior in chaotic dynamical systems;
  • Quasicrystals, packing problems, and tiling theory.
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


Algorithms • Animals • Arrhythmias, Cardiac • Biological Clocks • Biological Evolution • Biophysics • Bone and Bones • Boolean networks • Cell Cycle • Cell Differentiation • Cell Physiological Phenomena • Cell Proliferation • Computational Biology • Computer Graphics • Computer Simulation • Condensed matter • Control theory • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases • Cyclins • Data Interpretation, Statistical • Diffusion • Disease Outbreaks • Electrophysiology • Embryo, Nonmammalian • Embryonic Development • Feedback • Feedback, Physiological • G1 Phase • Gastrula • Gene Expression • Gene Expression Regulation • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal • Gene Regulatory Networks • Genetic regulatory networks • Granular materials • Growth • Heart • Humans • Logistic Models • Mathematical Computing • Mathematical Concepts • Membrane Potentials • Mesoderm • Models, Biological • Models, Cardiovascular • Models, Chemical • Models, Genetic • Models, Statistical • Models, Theoretical • Mutation • Myocardium • Neural Networks (Computer) • Nonlinear dynamics • Nonlinear Dynamics • Nuclear Reprogramming • Periodicity • Physical Phenomena • Physics • Plant Development • Politics • Population Dynamics • Probability • Proteome • Public Opinion • S Phase • Saccharomyces cerevisiae • Sensitivity and Specificity • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted • Signal Transduction • Social Support • Statistics as Topic • Systems Theory • Tiling theory • Time Factors • Transcription Factors • Transcription, Genetic • Variations • Ventricular Fibrillation • Yeasts

Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Sargis Karapetyan  
  • Catherine Belley  
Postdocs Mentored

  • Xianrui Cheng (September 01, 2012 - March 01, 2013)  
  • Volkan Sevim (March, 2008 - August, 2010)  
  • Bjorn Samuelsson (November, 2005 - August 31, 2007)  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Y Yang, L Fu, C Marcoux, JE Socolar, P Charbonneau and BB Yellen, Phase transformations in binary colloidal monolayers., Soft matter, vol. 11 no. 12 (March, 2015), pp. 2404-2415, ISSN 1744-683X [doi]  [abs]
  2. Y. Yang, L. Fu, C. Marcoux, P. Charbonneau, J.E.S. Socolar, B. B. Yellen, Phase transformations in binary colloidal monolayers, Soft Matter (February, 2015) [doi]  [abs]
  3. M Sun, X Cheng and JE Socolar, Regulatory logic and pattern formation in the early sea urchin embryo., Journal of theoretical biology, vol. 363 (December, 2014), pp. 80-92, ISSN 0022-5193 [doi]  [abs]
  4. Y. Yang, L. Fu, C. Marcoux, J. E. S. Socolar, P. Charbonneau, B. B. Yellen, Martensitic transformations in binary colloidal monolayers, PNAS (Submitted, October, 2014)
  5. C Marcoux, TW Byington, Z Qian, P Charbonneau and JE Socolar, Emergence of limit-periodic order in tiling models., Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics, vol. 90 no. 1 (August, 2014), pp. 012136, American Physical Society, ISSN 1539-3755 [PhysRevE.90.012136], [doi]  [abs]
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    

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