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

Robert P. Behringer

Please note: Robert has left the "CNCS: Center for nonlinear and complex systems" group at Duke University; some info here might not be up to date.

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
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:


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. Zheng, H; Wang, D; Chen, DZ; Wang, M; Behringer, RP, Intruder friction effects on granular impact dynamics, Physical Review. E, vol. 98 no. 3 (September, 2018), American Physical Society (APS) [doi]  [abs]
  2. Aumaître, S; Behringer, RP; Cazaubiel, A; Clément, E; Crassous, J; Durian, DJ; Falcon, E; Fauve, S; Fischer, D; Garcimartín, A; Garrabos, Y; Hou, M; Jia, X; Lecoutre, C; Luding, S; Maza, D; Noirhomme, M; Opsomer, E; Palencia, F; Pöschel, T; Schockmel, J; Sperl, M; Stannarius, R; Vandewalle, N; Yu, P, An instrument for studying granular media in low-gravity environment., Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 89 no. 7 (July, 2018), pp. 075103 [doi]  [abs]
  3. Zheng, H; Wang, D; Barés, J; Behringer, RP, Sinking in a bed of grains activated by shearing., Physical Review. E, vol. 98 no. 1-1 (July, 2018), pp. 010901 [doi]  [abs]
  4. Wang, D; Ren, J; Dijksman, JA; Zheng, H; Behringer, RP, Microscopic Origins of Shear Jamming for 2D Frictional Grains., Physical Review Letters, vol. 120 no. 20 (May, 2018), pp. 208004 [doi]  [abs]
  5. Dijksman, JA; Kovalcinova, L; Ren, J; Behringer, RP; Kramar, M; Mischaikow, K; Kondic, L, Characterizing granular networks using topological metrics., Physical Review. E, vol. 97 no. 4-1 (April, 2018), pp. 042903 [doi]  [abs]