You are here

Joshua Socolar


Professor of Physics

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.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Physics

Contact Information:

  • Office Location: 096 Physics Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-2557
  • Email Address:


  • Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 1987
  • B.A. Haverford College, 1980

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:

  • Top 5% in undergraduate instruction at Duke University. Dean of Arts and Sciences and Dean of Academic Affairs, Trinity College. 2013
  • Top 5% in undergraduate instruction at Duke University. Deans of Arts and Sciences and Trinity College. 2011
  • Outstanding Referee. American Physics Society. 2008
  • Harvard Society Junior Fellows. Harvard Society of Fellows. 1987

Courses Taught:

  • MUSIC 126: Acoustics and Music
  • PHYSICS 136: Acoustics and Music
  • PHYSICS 161D: Fundamentals of Physics I
  • PHYSICS 590S: Selected Topics in Theoretical Physics

In the News:

Representative Publications:

  • Pham, AT; Zhuang, Y; Detwiler, P; Socolar, JES; Charbonneau, P; Yellen, BB, Phase diagram and aggregation dynamics of a monolayer of paramagnetic colloids., Physical Review. E, vol 95 no. 5-1 (2017) [10.1103/physreve.95.052607] [abs].
  • Socolar, JES; Lubensky, TC; Kane, CL, Mechanical graphene, New Journal of Physics, vol 19 no. 2 (2017), pp. 025003-025003 [10.1088/1367-2630/aa57bb] [abs].
  • Oğuz, EC; Socolar, JES; Steinhardt, PJ; Torquato, S, Hyperuniformity of quasicrystals, Physical Review B, vol 95 no. 5 (2017) [10.1103/PhysRevB.95.054119] [abs].
  • Rutkowski, DM; Marcoux, C; Socolar, JES; Hall, CK, Formation of limit-periodic structures by quadrupole particles confined to a triangular lattice, Physical Review. E, vol 95 no. 1 (2017) [10.1103/PhysRevE.95.012604] [abs].
  • Hann, CT; Socolar, JES; Steinhardt, PJ, Local growth of icosahedral quasicrystalline tilings, Physical Review B, vol 94 no. 1 (2016) [10.1103/PhysRevB.94.014113] [abs].

Affiliate Topics in Materials Research: