Robert P. Behringer


James B. Duke Professor of Physics

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.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • James B. Duke Professor of Physics
  • Professor with Tenure

Contact Information:

  • Office Location: 095 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-2550
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Duke University, 1975

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:

  • Jesse Beams AwardPhysical Society. American Physical Society, Southeastern Section. 2013
  • Jesse Beams Award. American Physical Society. 2013
  • Chair Line, American Physical Society Topical Group on the Physics of Climate. American Physical Society. 2012

Courses Taught:

  • COMPSCI 524: Nonlinear Dynamics
  • COMPSCI 724: Advanced Topics in Nonlinear and Complex Systems
  • PHYSICS 493: Research Independent Study
  • PHYSICS 495: Thesis Independent Study
  • PHYSICS 513: Nonlinear Dynamics
  • PHYSICS 761: Classical Mechanics
  • PHYSICS 813: Advanced Topics in Nonlinear and Complex Systems

In the News:

Representative Publications:

  • Bi, D; Zhang, J; Behringer, RP; Chakraborty, B, Fluctuations in Shear-Jammed States: A Statistical Ensemble Approach [10.1209/0295-5075/102/34002] [abs].